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Asia Gold: China premiums up on investment demand; Indian market on hold


By and Rajendra Jadhav

BENGALURU/(Reuters) - Physical gold premiums rose in this week as investment demand firmed on worries over global growth and a softening dollar, though Indian buyers remained on the sidelines ahead of the wedding season.

Premiums in top consumer firmed to $6 to $9 an ounce from last week's $4 to $8.

"Right now the general Chinese sentiment is very bullish on the gold price," said Samson Li, a Hong Kong-based at GFMS.

"More and more people are interested in gold as an investment," Li added, citing global risk factors, a weaker U.S. dollar and buying ahead of the Lunar New Year.

Spot gold, the global benchmark, was on track for its fourth straight weekly gain.

After gains in overseas markets, local gold prices in India, the second-largest gold consumer, this week touched their highest in 2-1/2 months.

"Retail buying is weak due to Khar Mass and higher prices," said Daman Prakash Rathod, a wholesaler

Khar Mass is considered an inauspicious period in calendar, from Dec. 16 to Jan. 14, during which people generally avoid holding weddings and buying gold or property.

"From next week demand will improve due to the upcoming wedding season," Rathod said.

Gold is an essential part of weddings in and a popular gift from family and guests at weddings.

Dealers in were offering a discount of up to $6 an ounce over official domestic prices this week, unchanged from the last week. The domestic price includes a 10 percent import tax.

Jewellers were postponing purchases because of the rally in local prices and because is subdued, said one with a bullion importing

Premiums in and Hong Kong were mostly unchanged at 60 cents-$1.50 and 60 cents-$1.30 an ounce respectively.

"We have seen demand slowed a bit because of the high prices. But some high-net-worth individuals are re-evaluating and putting some assets into gold," said Brian Lan, at GoldSilver Central.

is expected to pick up ahead of the Lunar New Year, Lan added.

In Japan, gold was sold on par with the benchmark, owing to lack of demand and higher prices, one said.

(Additional reporting by and K Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru and in Mumbai; Editing by David Goodman)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, January 11 2019. 17:42 IST