EghtesadOnline: Extending a rally from the previous session, foreign exchange rates in Iran regained momentum on Wednesday.
The dollar climbed more than 3.5% in Tehran's open market to close at 228,000 rials. It was quoted as high as 231,000 rials early in the day but declined in the closing hours.
It was quoted at 227,490 rials at official exchange shops affiliated to the Central Bank of Iran – up 9,560 rials or 4.4%.
The UAE dirham gained 3,000 rials or 4.7% to fetch 63,800 rials. The euro and UK pound sterling climbed 2% changing 269,500 rials and 303,340 rials, respectively.
However, the market was rather indifferent to the CBI governor's optimistic statements about further cuts in forex rates. Speaking on state TV late Tuesday, Abdolnaser Hemmati said "real currency prices are lower than the current rates".
On the sidelines of the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, he said the CBI has freed some of its forex assets blocked overseas, IRNA reported.
"Part of the assets are unlocked and we are using it," he said, adding that the money would improve the CBI's leverage in regulating the forex market. The dollar lost 13% in a week and declined to 215,000 rials on Monday – a five-month low. The trend was spurred by cautious optimism that the national currency would gain in the coming weeks.
The decline in currency rates had a delayed impact on prices quoted at the secondary forex market, known as Nima, which is a trade platform affiliated to the CBI where importers and exporters trade in hawalas.
Gold prices gained keeping abreast with higher forex rates in Tehran and rising bullion prices in global markets.
Emami gold coin traded for 103.5 million rials gaining 3.5 million rials or 3.4% compared to the previous session. Half Bahar Azadi coin was up 0.9% to reach 55 million rials, 500,000 rials higher than the previous session. One gram of 18-karat gold fetched 9.93 million rials and climbed 3.2% compared to Tuesday.
Gold prices rose Wednesday in international markets as the dollar weakened after US treasury secretary nominee Janet Yellen underscored the need for a huge stimulus to help the economy recover from the coronavirus jolt, bolstering bullion's appeal as an inflation hedge. Spot gold gained 0.8% to $1,853.80 per ounce while US gold futures added 0.7% to $1,852.80.