LAHORE - The price of gold (24k) has jumped to a record high of over Rs26,317 per 10 grams or Rs 30,664 per tola on the back of surge in yellow metal prices in international market up to $997.80 an ounce, it was learnt. The price of gold in Peshawar has been reached up to Rs31,000 per tola, (Rs 26,000 per 10 g) while silver price remained Rs 495 per tola. According to Peshawar Sarrafa Association, this is the record increase in the price of yellow metal, as its tola price was Rs30,680 last week, which soared up to Rs31,000 marking an increase of Rs320. The Association expected that the gold prices would rise further. Bloomberg reported that Gold may reach $2,000 an ounce by 2010. It is to be noted that in February this year gold price was recorded highest up to Rs29,550 per tola. The 10 gram gold price also rose in international market to $989.2 per ounce from $966.50 per ounce last week, said M Ahmad, Chairman Lahore Division Sarafa and Jewellers Association. He further said for the last over one month, the local gold prices have been showing upward trend on the back of surging world prices coupled with the changes in rupee-dollar exchange rate parity. Though the gold prices are directly linked with petrol on int'l market, but amazingly petrol price movement has been proscribed while gold price is gaining momentum unabatedly these days, he added. Muhammad Ahmad who has been appointed Chairman of FPCCI Regional Standing Committee on Gems & Jewellery recently, further said that when gold hit Rs29,550 per tola in February this year the international price was hovering around $992 per ounce, and currently it was ruling at $989.20 and local gold rate touched Rs31,000 reflecting that the rupee was continuously losing its value against dollar. He was of the view that gold price in Pakistan largely depends on rupee strength against dollar and trend on int'l bullion markets. He said businesses of jewellery have been ruined because people preferred to purchase artificial jewellery instead of gold even for marriages. Now customers used to come in jewellery markets to sale their assets and not for purchase purpose. With this trend, jewellers have no option but to shift their business towards silver trade, he added. Abid Bukhari, a leading businessman of Shah Almi market said, earlier, it was a tradition that people in Pakistan usually purchase one to 10 tola gold bars for investment purposes, but now the situation has entirely been changed and people have had many other means to invest like equity market, real estate and other government-run investment schemes. Only a small section of elite class might have still interest in investing in gold, he added. 'Investment in gold could rise when general public gets involved in the business as they have been engaged in national saving schemes, equities, currency etc as they need open platform for investing in gold, said Abid Bukhari.