New Delhi: Gold prices jumped on the first day of the New Year, rising 200 to 32,470 per 10 gram at the bullion market. A pick-up in demand from local jewellers supported gold prices, traders said. Tracking gold, silver rates too rose, gaining 150 to 39,250 per kg on increased demand from industrial units and coin makers. In Delhi, prices of gold of 99.9% and 99.5% purity went up by 200 each to 32,470 per 10 gram and 32,320 per 10 gram, respectively.

Sovereign gold, however, remained unchanged at 25,200 per piece of 8 gram. Silver ready advanced by 150 to 39,250 per kg and weekly-based delivery saw a mild rise of 25 to 38,725 per kg. Silver coins, however, remained unchanged at 76,000 for buying and 77,000 for selling of 100 pieces.

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The rise in gold prices comes on the back of a good year for the precious metal in 2018. In 2018, gold prices jumped by 1,870, or 6.15%. This gain was primarily driven by a 9% fall in the value of the rupee against the US dollar during the year. The depreciation of the currency makes gold imports costlier in rupee terms. However, in 2018, silver, lost 880, or 2.2%.

In global markets, gold prices hit a six-month high on Friday, topping $1,280 an ounce. Many analysts remain positive on gold for 2019 as the Federal Reserve steps back on the pace of US rate increases.

Besides that political and economic considerations will support prices in the first quarter of 2019, said Benjamin Lu Jiaxuan, commodities analyst at Singapore-based brokerage firm Phillip Futures.

Gold prices may stay volatile in 2019, according to Richard Fu, head of Asia & Pacific at Amalgamated Metal Trading Ltd. in London. The metal may trade in a $1,150 to $1,375-an-ounce range as bullish and bearish drivers compete, he said.

(With Agency Inputs)

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