Asia Gold Indians step up purchases, top hubs gear for Christmas shopping

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  • India’s wedding season demand far better than last year- dealer
  • China premiums at $6-$9/oz

Dec 17 (Reuters) – Physical gold demand in India showed a modest improvement this week as some buyers rushed to stores anticipating a further rise in domestic prices, while customers in other Asian hubs started bullion shopping for Christmas.

“Price rise has changed sentiments. Some jewellers, who were waiting for correction, have started making purchases,” said Ashok Jain, proprietor of Mumbai-based gold wholesaler Chenaji Narsinghji.

On Friday, local gold futures were trading around 48,700 rupees per 10 grams, after rising to a near one-month high of 48,785 rupees earlier in the day.

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Dealers offered discounts of up to $2 an ounce over official domestic prices — inclusive of 10.75% import and 3% sales levies — unchanged from last week.

“Wedding season demand is far better than last year. Jewellers across the country have been reporting healthy footfalls,” said a Mumbai-based bullion dealer with a private bank.

In China, premiums of $6-$9 an ounce were charged over benchmark spot gold prices , compared with last week’s $7-$10 premiums.

The Christmas and Chinese New Year periods could drive more interest from jewellery shops, said Peter Fung, head of dealing at Wing Fung Precious Metals.

Singapore saw premiums of $1.50-$1.80 per ounce versus $1.40-$1.80 the week before.

“A lot of retail clients are also worried because we had a few cases of Omicron just coming to Singapore,” said Brian Lan, managing director at dealer GoldSilver Central.

“But I don’t think that really will cut this festive buying… we do see a lot of Singaporean retail customers now shopping for Christmas,” he added.

In Hong Kong, premiums of $0.50-$1.80 were charged versus $0.80-$1.80 last week.

Dick Poon, general manager at Heraeus Metals Hong Kong Ltd, said there was steady demand from both wholesalers and retailers following an initial price dip.

Premiums of $0.50-$1.00 were charged in Japan.

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Reporting by Rajendra Jadhav in Mumbai, Asha Sistla and Swati Verma in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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