Gold prices in India today fell for the first time in three days as profit-taking and stronger equities hurt the precious metal. However, a weaker rupee capped the fall. Gold futures on MCX fell 0.55% today to 43,330 per 10 gram on profit-taking after the recent rally that took prices closer to record highs. Tracking gold, silver prices also fell 0.6% to 46,402. Gold can see some profit booking at higher levels, says SMC Global, adding that the precious metal can dip towards 43,000 while facing resistance near 43,800 on the higher side. Silver can dip towards 46200 while taking resistance near 46700, the brokerage added.

Gold prices were mostly flat today in global markets today as stronger equities and upbeat US data slightly dented the safe haven appeal of non-yielding assets like bullion. Spot gold was up 0.1% at $1,637.80 per ounce. US services sector activity jumped to a one-year high in February, recent data showed.

Among other precious metals, silver rose 0.3% to $17.22 per ounce while platinum was steady at $872.40.

The rupee in the previous session breached the 73.5 per dollar mark and some analysts say that it could weaken further. On the other hand, some analysts say that Reserve Bank of India may deploy some of its dollar stockpile to steady the rupee, which has tumbled more than 2% over the past week as more cases of coronavirus were reported in the country.

India imports most of its gold requirement and besides the rupee-dollar value, import duty (12.5%) and GST (3%) determines the final price of bullion in the country.

Global risk appetite has improved following stimulus announced by some central banks and going forward there is growing expectation of rate cut by some other central bank to limit the economic fallout of virus outbreak, Kotak Securities said.

Development relating to virus outbreak may continue to be key price determining factor for commodities, including gold, as it will affect US dollar as well as general risk sentiment, Kotak Securities said in a note. Also in focus will be market reaction to recent easing by central banks along with hopes of further stimulus by other central banks to support growth, the brokerage added.

According to the latest data, global coronavirus cases reached 94,410 while death toll rose past 3,200. The global spread of the virus has crushed hopes for stronger growth this year and has pushed investors into safe-haven assets like gold.

The latest tranche of sovereign gold bonds will close for subscription on March 6th. The government is issuing these bonds at 4,260 per gram of gold while those investing and making payment online get a discount of 50 per gram.

(With Agency Inputs)

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