Premiums on physical gold in top consumer China rose this week, helped by strong demand amid a dip in global rates, while prices in India traded at a discount on improved supplies.
Premiums of $30 to $40 an ounce were charged in China over global benchmark spot prices, up from $16 to $27 last week.
“Gold demand in China is expected to remain strong over the coming weeks, as investors look for safe-haven assets amid the geopolitics tension,” Bernard Sin, regional director, Greater China at MKS PAMP, said.
“Additionally, the Chinese government has continued to invest in gold as part of its efforts to diversify its foreign reserves.”
Spot gold prices fell to their lowest level in nearly two months this week.
Chinese officials stating that the country’s COVID-19 epidemic has “basically” ended, will likely encourage further “revenge spending” by Chinese consumers with jewellery demand being a beneficiary of that,” said independent analyst Ross Norman.
Meanwhile, dealers in India were offering a discount of up to $1.5 an ounce over official domestic prices – inclusive of the 15% import and 3% sales levies – down from the last week’s premium of $2.
“A lot of pent-up demand is there. People were waiting for a price correction and are now making purchases at the current price level,” said Mukesh Kothari, director at dealer RiddiSiddhi Bullions in Mumbai.
Local gold prices were trading around 55,650 rupees per 10 grams on Friday from an all-time high of 58,847 rupees hit earlier this month.
Gold imports in February could rise above 30 tonnes as many banks have started purchases, said a Mumbai-based bullion dealer with a private bank.
Premiums in Singapore ranged between $1.50 to $2.50, while in Hong Kong premiums of $1 to $2.50 were charged.
“If prices continue to come lower, we could see investors taking this opportunity to come in again,” said Brian Lan, managing director at dealer GoldSilver Central.
In Japan, gold changed hands between a $0.5 premium to on par with global rates.