Asia GoldChina Flips to Premium after 11 Months

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BENGALURUMUMBAI, Jan 15 Reuters Physical gold in top consumer China was sold at a small premium for the first time since early 2020, as demand picked up ahead of the Chinese new year.

Dealers in China offered premiums of 0.504 an ounce over benchmark spot gold prices, compared with last weeks 710 discounts. Theres been an uptick, mostly due to higher demand ahead of Chinese new year and some economic recovery, said Ronald Leung, chief dealer for Lee Cheong Gold Dealers in Hong Kong, adding demand could rise further on COVID19 vaccine rollouts.

Chinese dealers were forced to offer steep discounts for most of last year, as the pandemic hammered the economy and retail demand.

A stronger yuan and lower spot gold prices also helped, said Peter Fung, head of dealing at Wing Fung Precious Metals.

Global benchmark spot gold prices slumped 2.6 last week.

In India, dealers charged premiums of up to 0.50 an ounce over official domestic prices, inclusive of 12.5 import and 3 sales levies, down from last weeks premium of 1.50.

Demand is a little subdued due to price fluctuations. Consumers are on the sidelines and waiting for a clear trend, said Ashish Pethe, partner at Waman Hari Pethe Jewellers.

On Friday, local gold futures traded around 49,200 rupees per 10 grams, having hit a onemonth low of 48,635 rupees earlier this week.

Jewellers could ramp up purchases for the wedding season from next week, said a Mumbaibased bullion dealer with a gold importing bank.

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