Gold prices in India today fell for the third day, tracking muted global cues. On MCX, prices of gold futures for February delivery were down 0.11% to 38,045 per 10 gram. After the three-day decline, gold rates are now down about 2,000 per 10 gram from the September highs of about 40,000 per 10 gram. Tracking gold, silver prices also edged lower today. On MCX, silver futures were down 0.20% to 44,524 per kg.

In global markets, gold prices were flat at $1,475.51 per ounce after US President Donald Trump's latest comments rekindled hopes of a trade deal with China. Earlier this week gold had hit an one-month high of $1,484 an ounce.

"Gold prices have pared previous gains on positive optimism over US-China trade deal. Gold prices seesawed over past few days on flipping news on US-China trade deal," HDFC Securities said in a note.

On Thursday, the US President said trade talks were "moving right along", pushing global equities higher. Uncertainties over a deal have pushed investors to the sidelines in recent sessions.

Holdings of the world's largest gold-backed ETF SPDR Gold Trust are down to about 888 tonnes as compared to 916 tonnes a month ago, Yes Securities said in a note.

Gold traders are looking to a US Federal Reserve meeting, scheduled next week. Analysts expect the the Fed to keep rates on hold at 1.50-1.75%.

Despite the recent decline, gold prices in India are up about 20% so far this year, tracking an increase in global rates, hike in import duty and the depreciation in rupee against the US dollar.

India’s gold imports in November declined for the fifth month as elevated prices and the slowest economic growth in six years curbed demand during the peak wedding season.

Higher prices have hurt gold demand in India. Inbound shipments dropped 19% from a year earlier to 56.1 tons in November, Bloomberg reported, citing sources.

The latest tranche of sovereign gold bonds closes today. The issue price is 3,795 per gram. A discount of 50 per gram is allowed from the issue price to those investors who apply online and the payment is made through digital mode. (With Agency Inputs)

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