Gold prices in India today surged to new highs, driven by a rally in global rates amid US-Iran tensions. On MCX, February gold futures surged 2.3% or ₹918 to a record high of ₹41,030 per 10 gram. On Friday, gold prices had surged over 2% or ₹850 per 10 gram. This takes two-day gain in gold prices in domestic markets to about ₹1,800 per gram as Middle East tensions increased the appeal of safe haven assets like gold. Silver rates also spiked today. Silver futures on MCX rose 2% or ₹947 to ₹48,474 per kg.
The Indian rupee today fell beyond ₹72 a US dollar amid a spike in global oil prices, further supporting gold prices. India imports most of its gold requirements.
Gold prices will remain supported on safe haven demand amid Middle East tensions, says SMC Global Securities in a note. "Gold can move further upside towards ₹41,300 while silver can test 48900 while taking support near ₹48,200," the brokerage added.
U.S. President Donald Trump threatened sanctions against Baghdad on Sunday for the move, and said if troops did leave,
Baghdad would have to pay Washington for the cost of the air base there. Iran announced on Sunday it would abandon limitations
on enriching uranium, taking a further step back from commitments to a 2015 nuclear deal with six major powers. The U.S.
Federal Reserve acknowledged the current rate stance to be appropriate in their final policy meeting of 2019. Lower interest rates
reduce the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion. India's gold imports in 2019 fell 12% from a year ago to the lowest
level in three years, as retail buying faltered in the second half after local prices rallied to a record high, a government source said
In global markets, gold prices today surged 1.5% to $1,579.55 per ounce, the highest level in about six years. The gains extended Friday's surge after a US air strike in Iraq killed top Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani. The killing has heightened concerns of a widening Middle East conflict.
In India, physical gold buying was subdued as a surge in prices hit demand. Dealers were offering a discount of up to $13 an ounce over official domestic prices last week, compared to a premium of $1 an ounce in the previous week, Reuters reported. The domestic gold price in India includes a 12.5% import tax and 3% GST.
The sudden price rise has surprised everyone, the report quoted a gold wholesaler as saying.
Gold imports into India fell 12% from a year ago, the lowest level in three years, as a rally in domestic prices hurt demand, a report said. Gold prices had surged nearly 25% in domestic markets last year.
US President Donald Trump on Sunday threatened "major retaliation" if Iran avenges the killing of a key military commander and he warned of massive economic sanctions against ally Iraq if the country expels US troops based there.
The twin threats came as Iran announced it was further reducing compliance with a international nuclear accord, ending limitations on numbers of centrifuges used to enrich uranium. (With Agency Inputs)