Silver had surged overnight on global markets after some traders moved to cover short positions on rumours about a GameStop-style squeeze driven by retail investors
Gold prices edged higher today after a five-day decline but the gains were muted. On MCX, gold futures rose 0.26% to ₹48,749 per 10 gram while silver prices surged 1.5% to ₹68,639 per kg following overnight gains in global markets. In the previous session, gold had declined 0.5% while silver had surged 1.8%. In India, gold prices are down about 3% or ₹1,500 so far this year, tracking a similar drop in global rates.
In international markets, gold prices were flat today but headed for a monthly decline. Traders kept a watch on developments around US stimulus package. Spot gold was steady at $1,840.91 per ounce and was set for a nearly 3% decline for the month. Gold has been pressurized this month amid a stronger dollar and concerns that US stimulus package could be delayed.
Silver rates dropped 0.7% to $26.18 an ounce, after having surged 4.5% on Thursday, after some traders moved to cover short positions on rumours about a GameStop-style squeeze driven by retail investors.
The US dollar rose 0.28% against a basket of currencies, making gold expensive for holders of other currencies. The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six currencies, has risen 0.8% for the month, aided by higher US Treasury yields. Higher yields on bonds make gold a less attractive investment because it pays no interest.
Gold ETF investors continued to remain on the sidelines. Holdings of the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust, fell 0.4% on Thursday.
The World Gold Council said on Thursday that global gold demand in 2020 fell to its lowest in 11 years. India's gold demand dropped by over a third in 2020 on the back of pandemic-induced lockdowns and lifetime high prices, but a rebound this year is most likely, as normalcy returns and steady course of reforms strengthen the industry, according to the World Gold Council (WGC). In August gold prices had hit a record high of ₹56,200 in India.
"The coronavirus pandemic, with its far-reaching effects, was the driving factor behind weakness in consumer demand throughout 2020," the body said.
Central bank buying slowed sharply in 2020, particularly in the second half of the year, it added. (With Agency Inputs)