Gold prices at historic high, may go up further

Gold prices are at six-year high in India

Gold prices in India hit a historic high of Rs 35,500 per 10 grams on Tuesday, racing past the previous high of Rs 35,000/10 gm in 2013, when the government had hiked import duty on the yellow metal by five-fold to 10%.

The yellow metal traded in the range of Rs 35,590-Rs 35,655 per 10 grams in main markets such as Bengaluru, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata and Jaipur.

The price of 24 carat spot gold in Bengaluru was Rs 35,600 per 10 grams on Tuesday, while it was Rs 35,590/10 gms in Delhi, Rs 35,570 in Jaipur and Rs 35,580 in Mumbai.

Gold prices have been on the rise ever since the US Federal Reserve indicated it might cut interest rates going forward as the economy was slowing. That precipitated the dollar’s fall and lent strength to gold, prompting jewellers to give a discount of up to 2% as they saw their sales declining by a third.

Gold prices tend to move in opposite direction to the US dollar.

Commodity watchers, traders and retail shop owners from across the country told DH that they did not expect prices to come down in near future, as escalating geo-political tensions and trade war were weighing heavily on the minds of price-sensitive Indian buyers.

“Gold has been gaining since the Fed indicated it could cut interest rates, possibly as soon as next month to offset the effects of slowing global growth,” Ajay Kedia, Director of Mumbai-based Kedia Commodities, said.

Gold has rallied 8% so far in June as compared to 10% year-to-date.

Shyam Gupta of Sri Venkatesh Jewellers in Hyderabad said sales had “come down”. “In the past one week it has fallen more than 30%,” he said. Physical gold prices went up to Rs 35,800 per 10 grams, including 3% GST in Hyderabad.

The four causes increasingly turning gold into a safe haven were: the US Federal Reserve and Europe Central Bank indicating a rate cut, escalating global trade war, geopolitical tensions and central banks across the globe raising their gold reserves.

Since none of these triggers are likely to recede any time soon, gold is expected to remain costlier. India, the largest consumer and one of the largest importers of gold, has been witnessing one of the worst falls in physical gold sales.

“Eight of 10 consumers are coming to sell old gold rather than buy new one,” said owner of Nandishwar Meghraj jeweller in Jaipur. Households usually embark on selling old gold jewellery or converting them into new ones when gold prices are up, taking advantage of reduced jewellery making charges. Most of the traders said they saw prices moving up if the US-Iran tension intensified.

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