BENGALURU, Dec 13: Retail consumers in India slowed gold purchases this week put off by higher local prices, while top consumer China saw a slight pick-up in demand as jewellers stocked up going into year-end, reports Reuters.
Local gold futures rebounded to around 49,100 rupees per 10 grams on Friday, from its lowest since June 19, at 47,550 rupees, touched last week.
“Retail jewellery demand has been coming down due to volatile prices,” said Anoop Chemmanur, managing director of Chemmanur Jewellers in Bangalore.
Premiums eased to $2.5 an ounce over official domestic prices, inclusive of 12.5 per cent import and 3 per cent sales levies, from $3.5 last week.
“Jewellers are confused. There’s no clear trend,” said a Mumbai-based bullion dealer with a private bullion importing bank.
In China, gold was sold at a discount of $19-$24 an ounce against international spot prices, versus $20 last week.
“Vaccines will decide the future of the market,” said Ronald Leung, chief dealer, Lee Cheong Gold Dealers in Hong Kong.
Chinese dealers have been forced to offer hefty discounts for much of this year as the COVID-19 pandemic hammered demand, although the discount has narrowed in the past few weeks.
“Demand has been improving this week as jewellery retailers have stocked up inventories for end of the year,” said Samson Li, Hong Kong-based precious metals analyst at Refinitiv GFMS
But fourth-quarter demand will likely be about 10 per cent lower than last year, Li added.
The Singapore market saw premiums of about $1.20 an ounce.
“At this time of the year, gold prices generally dip and investors are waiting for that, because of which we’re not seeing much demand right now,” said Vergel Villasoto, director at Silver Bullion.
In Japan, gold was sold between flat and a $0.50 premium.
Gold investment demand could fall when vaccines hit the Japanese market around January-February, a Tokyo-based trader said.