Gold prices fell today in India after a sharp rise in the previous session. A similar trend was seen in silver prices. On MCX, prices of December gold futures contracts slipped 0.16% to 38,343. Gold prices had jumped 1.3% in the previous session. Silver contracts on MCX slid 0.25% to 45,527 after registering a 1.8% jump in the previous session. In global markets, gold prices extended gains to the fourth day today as weak US data bolstered bets of further rate cuts by the Federal Reserve. Spot gold was up 0.2% at $1,508.12 per ounce.

In spot markets, prices of 24 Karat gold in Delhi rose 210 to 39,075 per 10 gram, Press Trust of India reported, citing HDFC Securities. Silver, however, fell 110 to 46,490 per kilogram here from Thursday's closing price of 46,600 per kilogram.

The US dollar also came off a bit after a soft US service sector survey stoked worries about broader US economy. Gold traders will be closely watching the September US jobs data, to be released today, for cues on possible rate cuts by the US Federal Reserve.

Lower interest rates increase the appeal of gold as well as weigh on the dollar. Gold prices have remained choppy over the past few weeks but are off their record lows. Gold is considered a safe store of value during economic and political uncertainty.

Gold imports into India in September plunged to lowest in at least three years, weighed down by all-time high prices amid poor demand, Bloomberg reported, citing a person familiar with the data. Imports of gold slumped 86% from a year earlier to 13.5 tons in September, Bloomberg reported, citing the person.

Gold prices in India are up over 20% so far this year, hurting demand. Retail demand also remained lacklustre last month due to the Shradh period, which is considered inauspicious for buying bullion.

However, retail demand is expected to pick up during the peak festival season this month and the wedding season that follows. Besides that gold prices have come off a bit.

Diwali falls toward the end of the month this year and demand is expected to spike ahead of the festival. Those who want to invest in gold will have more options as the RBI will issue gold bonds twice this month ahead of Dhanteras and Diwali. (With Agency Inputs)

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