Afghani dips versus US dollar, gas up
The Afghan currency depreciation against the greenback was linked to President Hamid Karzai’s refusal to sign a key security pact with the US, a move that kept investors at bay, money changers said.
During the week, the buying rate of a US dollar stood at 58.35afs and 1,000 Pakistani rupees cost 538afs against last week's 57.80afs exchange value of a dollar and 1,000 rupees changed for 540afs, according to moneychanger Najeebullah Akhtari.
Earlier this year, the exchange rate of a US dollar was 52.14afs and Rs1000 equaled 534afs.
Afghanistan Central Bank circulates $30 to $40 million in the market each week to keep the afghani stable, but the bank on Wednesday announced it would present $30 million for the next week.
But moneychanger Akhtari said “the bank’s decision of offering $30 million would not help the afghan currency stay stable because Karzai’s decision to delay signing the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) had discouraged investors.
Gas prices have been on the increase over the past 10 days.
A gas seller in Kolola Pushta neighbourhood, Mohammad Sharifi, said the rate of one kilogram of gas jumped from 70afs to 80afs during the week.
However, in some parts of the central capital, the price of one kilogram of gas hovered between 85afs and 90afs.
Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry spokesman Wahidullah Ghazikhel linked the increase in gas prices to a shortage of US dollars in the global market. He said most trade of the commodity involved the US currency.
He said another reason behind the increase in gas price was the advent of winter, when most people used gas for heating homes.
He said the gas at ACCI-established shops in Kabul was sold comparative at low rate – a kilo for 59 afghanis.
However, diesel and firewood prices stayed stable. Abdul Hadi, works at Wazirabad filling station, said one litre of diesel and the same quantity of petrol cost 64afs each, the same rate as last week’s.
A wood stall owner, Hamid, said 565 kilograms of wood was sold for 7,200, the same as last week’s.
There has been no change in food prices as a 50-kilogram bag of Pakistani sugar cost 1,700afs, a 24-kg bag of rice 1,800afs, a 5-kg tin of Momin ghee 400afs, a kilo of African black tea 210afs and the same quantity of Indonesian green tea for 175afs, the same rates as last week.
Jeweler Abdul Basir said the price of one gram of Arabic gold decreased from 2,100afs to 2,000afs and the same quantity of the Iranian variety from 1,750afs to 1,700afs.
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