Daily News :2nd April 2020

Good Morning

The federal government on Wednesday decided to extend the lockdown to counter the novel coronavirus for another fortnight (till April 14). For second month in a row, pace of increase in prices significantly slowed down and recorded at 10.2% in March due to correction in prices of food and energy items -the factors that in past had kept the reading high. The independent power producers (IPPs) will not be able to pay wages to their employees in case the government stops paying capacity charges, said industry sources. Import sales tax collection fell more than 16 percent in March over the previous month as coronavirus-led lockdown brought economic activities in the country to almost a grinding halt in the last two weeks, official data showed on Wednesday.

Market View: The KSE100 Index gained  273.94  points during yesterday’s trading session and closed at 29,505.5 points. Declining CPI number, which came in at 10.2%, provided much needed breather to the market. we expect the market to remain under pressure due to rising number of corona virus cases and extension in lockdown by the government.  

Commodities:

Brent Crude (USD/bbl): 26.17 (+5.78% D/D)
WTI Crude oil (USD/bbl): 21.30 (+4.83% D/D)
Gold (USD/oz): 1,597.80 (+0.40% D/D)

National News

Federal government decides to extend lockdown
The federal government on Wednesday decided to extend the lockdown to counter the novel coronavirus for another fortnight (till April 14).
https://www.brecorder.com/2020/04/02/585848/federal-government-decides-to-extend-lockdown/ 

Inflation rate slows down to seven-month low of 10.2%ISLAMABAD: For second month in a row, pace of increase in prices significantly slowed down and recorded at 10.2% in March due to correction in prices of food and energy items -the factors that in past had kept the reading high.
https://tribune.com.pk/story/2188714/2-inflation-rate-slows-seven-month-low-10-2/ 

IPPs won’t be able to pay wages if govt stops paying capacity charges
LAHORE: The independent power producers (IPPs) will not be able to pay wages to their employees in case the government stops paying capacity charges, said industry sources.
https://epaper.brecorder.com/2020/04/02/10-page/832196-news.html

Rs56bn GST refunds sanctioned via Faster system: FBR
ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has so far sanctioned Rs56 billion sales tax refunds through the FASTER (Fully Automated Sales Tax e-Refund) system since July 2019 against the claimed amount of Rs59 billion, reflecting 95 percent payments.
https://epaper.brecorder.com/2020/04/02/16-page/832244-news.html 

Import sales tax revenue falls 16 percent in March
KARACHI: Import sales tax collection fell more than 16 percent in March over the previous month as coronavirus-led lockdown brought economic activities in the country to almost a grinding halt in the last two weeks, official data showed on Wednesday.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/637948-import-sales-tax-revenue-falls-16-percent-in-march 

Speaker summons parliamentary body on coronavirus on April 6
ISLAMABAD: Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaisar has summoned the first meeting of the 25-member parliamentary committee on coronavirus pandemics on April 6 (Monday).
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/638170-speaker-summons-parliamentary-body-on-coronavirus-on-april-6 

Hafeez Shaikh directs FBR to speed up refund process
ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh Wednesday directed the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairperson to expedite the process of refunds so that the business community was provided with maximum relief.
https://www.brecorder.com/2020/04/02/585701/hafeez-shaikh-directs-fbr-to-speed-up-refund-process/ 

Firms involved in forward selling won’t be given compensation: Razak
Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce, Industries and Production and Investment, Abdul Razak Dawood on Wednesday accused some “big” firms of selling forward dollars and seeking billions of rupees from national kitty to cover losses. “A few firms made a commercial decision to take risk and sold forward US dollars. They are now asking government to cover their losses of Rs 15 billion,” he said, in a tweet.
https://www.brecorder.com/2020/04/02/585846/firms-involved-in-forward-selling-wont-be-given-compensation-razak/ 

Dasu power project: WB approves $700 million additional financing
The World Bank (WB) Board of Directors has approved a $700 million additional financing for Dasu Hydropower Project to help Pakistan generate low-cost, renewable energy, to ensure affordable electricity supply to millions of users.
https://www.brecorder.com/2020/04/02/585845/dasu-power-project-wb-approves-700-million-additional-financing/ 

Govt extends suspension of domestic flight operation till April 11
ISLAMABAD: The government on Wednesday has extended the suspension of domestic flight operation till April 11, 2020.The government has taken this decision due to rising number of coronavirus cases in the country. On the other hand, government has also announced to restart international flight operation from Thursday (today).
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/638223-govt-extends-suspension-of-domestic-flight-operation-till-april-11 

Pakistan coronavirus death toll mounts to 30
ISLAMABAD/ LAHORE/ KARACHI: The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Pakistan rose to 2,245 on Wednesday after new infections were confirmed in the country, while the death toll stands at 30.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/638218-pakistan-coronavirus-death-toll-mounts-to-30

International News 

Oil surges as Trump talks up hopes for truce in Saudi-Russia price war
Crude oil futures jumped nearly 5% in early trading on Thursday after U.S. President Donald Trump said he expected Saudi Arabia and Russia to reach a deal in the next few days to end their oil price war.
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/02/oil-markets-saudi-arabia-russia-oil-price-war-in-focus.html
 
Gold extends gains on worries about slump in global growth
Gold prices inched up on Thursday, following a rally in the previous session, as fears about a coronavirus-led steep slump in global economic activity lent support to the metal as a safe-haven asset.
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/02/gold-markets-coronavirus-global-economy-in-focus.html
 
Global cases top 930,000 as Singapore reports fourth death
As many as 932,605 cases of coronavirus infection have been recorded around the world and at least 46,809 people have died, according to the latest information compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/02/coronavirus-live-updates.html
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