A representational image of gold bars. — AFP/File

Gold prices rose Friday amid an increase in the demand for the safe-bet investment as economic uncertainty persists in Pakistan over a delay in the revival of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) deal.

Data released by the All-Pakistan Sarafa Gems and Jewellers Association (APSGJA) showed that the price of gold (24 carats) increased by Rs1,300 per tola and Rs1,114 per 10 grams to settle at Rs208,500 and Rs178,755, respectively.

The precious commodity has been registering gains for three consecutive sessions amid falling forex reserves and a weak rupee — which will make it costlier as Pakistan meets its gold demand through imports.

Due to foreign debt payments, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP)-held reserves fell $592 million to $3,086.2 million during the week ended on January 27, their lowest since February 2014, and are barely enough to provide import cover for 18.5 days (0.61 months).

In the international market, gold almost steadied in a tight range as cautious investors took stock of a host of central bank statements and positioned for a key US non-farm payrolls report. After losing nearly 2% in the previous session, spot gold fell $44 to $1,911 an ounce.

Meanwhile, silver prices in the domestic market increased by Rs50 per tola and Rs42.86 per 10 grams to settle at Rs2,350 and Rs2,014.74, respectively.

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