Indian jewellers keep fingers crossed on gold prices

Jewellers are keeping their fingers crossed about gold prices on Monday while pointing to two possibilities — a further fall or maintenance of status quo.

“The prices are expected to fall further on Monday,” Madras Jewellers and Diamond Merchants Association president Jayantilal Challani told IANS here.

On the other hand, N. Anantha Padmanabhan, Managing Director of NAC Jewellers, told IANS that the prices may stabilise and may not start at a lower rate on Monday. Much, however, depends on the Chinese market on Monday as it was on July 20 that gold prices crashed following large-scale sale of the metal.

According to Padmanabhan, prices hardened on Saturday by around Rs.30/gram to Rs2,377/gram (22 carat) on the back of increased demand. “Jewellery sales are around 50 per cent higher. The footfalls are higher in shops,” he added.

Commodity analysts predict the yellow metal to fall in the range of Rs.23,500-24,000 (24 carat)/10 grams. Gold fell to its lowest since 2010 as a strong US dollar and a temporary end of the Greek debt crisis weighed on the bullion, said Ravindra Rao, head of commodity research at AnandRathi Commodities.

He said the US dollar has proved to be the best performer against the major basket of currencies as the receding concerns over Greece and Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen’s strong intentions of a probable rate hike this year prompted investors to keep their focus on the safer currency, the greenback. Rao also said the nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 reached in Vienna also played a factor. Under the agreement, restrictions imposed by the United States, the European Union and the United Nations are to be lifted in exchange for curbs on Iran’s nuclear programme.

“The safe-haven status that has been built up in gold due to the financial and political crises has faded now and money has already started flowing into riskier assets such as equities,” he said.
Indian gold imports in June 2015 dipped by almost 37 per cent to $1.96 billion. Imports of the precious metal were $3.12 billion in June 2014. In May this year, imports were $2.42 billion.

Aside from the weak fundamental picture, technicals also point towards bearishness in the metal, Rao said. The first quarter (January-March) demand for gold in India was at 191.7 tons, up by 15 per cent as compared to the corresponding period of 2014, the World Gold Council (WGC) said in a report.


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