Physical gold demand in India was subdued this week as jewellers held off purchases, hoping for a dip in prices, but top consumer China saw a slight uptick in activity.
Dealers in India were charging a premium of up to $2 an ounce over official domestic prices, inclusive of 10.75 per cent import and 3 per cent sales levies, compared to last week's $3 premiums.
Investment demand is negligible as stocks are giving good returns. Jewellery demand is lower than normal.
On Friday, local gold futures were trading around Rs 47,000 per 10 grams, gaining from a four-month low of Rs 45,662 hit earlier this month. On Monday, jewellers went on strike to oppose the government's mandate to hallmark gold jewellery and artefacts from mid-June.
"In some regions, hallmarking centres are taking more than a week to hallmark the jewellery. Jewellers are demanding a quick turnaround as the festival season is approaching," said a Mumbai-based bullion dealer with a private bank.
In China, premiums of $3-$6 an ounce were charged over global benchmark spot gold prices, unchanged from last week.
Premiums of $0.50-$1.80 were charged in Hong Kong, while $1.20-$1.60 premiums were quoted in Singapore.