Gold traders still pick bargains; premiums up

Gold traders still pick bargains; premiums up

Mumbai: Gold traders continued to snap up bullion on Friday afternoon as the rupee hit its highest level in seven weeks, making the dollar-quoted yellow metal cheaper, with premiums continuing to be on the higher side, dealers said.

“Deals are happening after every five minutes, I have marked for about 200 kgs from morning," said a dealer with a state-run bank, which deals in bullion.

The Indian rupee strengthened to its highest level in nearly seven weeks as some corporate sold dollars, with broad losses in the US unit versus majors and other Asian currencies also boosting sentiment.

International gold was buoyed by physical buying interest from jewellers and investors and by the weaker dollar ahead of key jobs data from the United States.

Premiums have more than trebled to $1.50/1.60 for an ounce of gold from 40 cents at the start of July.

“Banks have hiked premiums by 30-50 cents and even parties are willing to buy at higher premiums," said a dealer with another state-run, bullion-dealing bank.

“Last week was execllent for gold sales, premiums would continue to inch higher if prices fall," said Haresh Acharya, head of bullion desk at Ahmedabad-based wholesaler, Parker Agrochem.

Indian gold demand is set to pick up for the busy festival season, starting with Raksha Bandhan on 24 August, and extending till Dhanteras in November, the single-biggest gold buying day.