Precious metals lose lustre

Kathmandu, August 4

The price of precious metals continued to tread downhill for the third consecutive week in between July 29 and August 3.

The Federation of Nepal Gold and Silver Dealers’ Association (FeNeGoSiDA) attributed the downtrend to the strengthening of the US dollar, drop in oil prices and rise in employment figures.

According to FeNeGoSiDA’s weekly statement, gold was priced at Rs 56,500 per tola when the market opened for trading on Sunday. Its price fell by Rs 100 a tola each for the next two consecutive days — to be traded at Rs 56,400 per tola on Monday and Rs 56,300 a tola on Tuesday. Bullion price remained stable on Wednesday. On Thursday, the price of the precious yellow metal continued to slide, down Rs 300 per tola to Rs 56,000 a tola and was unchanged on Friday.

Meanwhile, silver was traded at Rs 740 per tola on Sunday and its price was the same the next day. On Tuesday, the price of the grey metal dipped by five rupees a tola to Rs 735. Its price was unchanged for the remainder of the week.

Reuters reported that gold demand was modest during the week at major buying centres in Asia as a drop in prices attracted some investors, but most buyers held back purchases in anticipation of a further dip.

Prices fell to their lowest level in seven months in India, which encouraged jewellers to replenish stocks.

“Ahead of festival season, jewellers are building stocks,” Harshad Ajmera, the proprietor of JJ Gold House, a wholesaler

in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata, told Reuters.

In the Indian market, gold futures were trading at around INR 29,400 per 10 grams on Friday, after falling to INR 29,369 earlier in the week, the lowest level since January 2018.

Dealers in India were charging a premium of up to $1.5 an ounce over official domestic prices this week, up from $1 last week. India’s domestic price includes a 10 per cent import tax.

Indian gold demand is set to improve in the second half of 2018, after falling six per cent in the first half, as government steps to boost farmers’ incomes are expected to lift rural buying power, the World Gold Council (WGC) said on Thursday.