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Gold demand in Asia softens on higher prices, slow holiday trade

In Tokyo, gold was sold at par to a 25-cent premium to spot this week, largely unchanged due to a quiet market ahead of the year-end holidays

Reuters  |  BENGALURU/MUMBAI 

gold

across major centres in were subdued ahead of the holiday weekend as a modest rebound in prices weighed on investor appetite.

Spot prices rebounded to the highest in two weeks at $1,268.91 on Thursday after sinking to a five-month low last week.

In top consumer China, premiums quoted this week were about $10 an ounce to the global benchmark, little changed from last week's $9-$10 range.

"There hasn't been much activity because we've already seen lower levels," said Ronald Leung, chief at Lee Cheong Dealers in Hong Kong.

There was also little due to a stronger yuan this week, Leung said.

Hong Kong premiums were unchanged from the previous week between 70 cents and $1.40.

In Tokyo, was sold at par to a 25-cent premium to spot this week, largely unchanged due to a quiet market ahead of the year-end holidays, a Tokyo-based said.

in also remained muted due to

"Retail consumers are in holiday mood," said Ketan Shroff, of Mumbai-based bullion Penta Gold, with traffic having fallen in jewellery showrooms.

"Jewellers are also taking a break. They will become active only in the first week of January," Shroff said.

Dealers in were offering a discount of up to $2 an ounce this week over official domestic prices, unchanged from the previous week.

The domestic price includes a 10 percent import tax.

In some pockets of southern India, retail is likely to improve during Christmas, but that would not offset declines elsewhere in the country, said a Mumbai-based with a

"In the last few days, prices have recovered, but buyers are not sure about the upside. They think prices could fall again," the said.

Local prices have risen 1.6 percent since falling to 28,055 rupees per 10 grams last week, the lowest level since July 17.

India's imports in November nearly halved from a year ago, industry officials and analysts said.

(Reporting by in and Rajendra in MUMBAI; Editing by Tom Hogue)

First Published: Fri, December 22 2017. 16:01 IST
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