Domestic markets in China, Singapore and Japan took cues from a dip in global benchmark spot gold prices.
Chinese customers were charged premiums of $6-$9 an ounce over the spot rates – around $1,770 an ounce on Friday – up from last week’s $4-$5. Premiums of $0.50-$1 per ounce were charged in Hong Kong.
Jewellery sales have been good in Hong Kong and could see seasonally good demand in China this month, said Peter Fung, head of dealing at Wing Fung Precious Metals.
In Singapore, current prices were prompting higher wholesale purchases by manufacturers and jewellers, with retail demand not as significant, said Brian Lan, managing director at dealer GoldSilver Central.
“Moreover, some would be buying small gold bars or coins as Christmas gifts.”
Singapore dealers charged premiums of $1.30-$1.60.
Silver is also seeing lot of seasonal buying in Singapore, said David Mitchell, managing director at Indigo Precious Metals.
In Japan, gold was sold between no premiums and a $0.50 per ounce premium.
Dealers in India charged premiums of up to $2 an ounce over official domestic prices – inclusive of 10.75% import and 3% sales levies – versus last week $1 discounts.
Jewellers are keen to make purchases for the wedding season but are postponing them hoping that prices may drop further, said a Mumbai-based bullion dealer with a private bank.
Gold has traditionally been an integral part of weddings in India.
Local gold futures were around 47,600 rupees ($633.43) per 10 grams, after falling to a one-month low of 47,350 rupees earlier this week.
Consumers were awaiting a clear price trend, said Ashok Jain, proprietor of Mumbai-based gold wholesaler Chenaji Narsinghji.