Gold ETFs and Diwali

Gold exchange traded funds have been trading higher on safe haven demand and inflationary fears, and now we are heading into the main season for gold in India, one of the largest consumers of the precious metal.

India’s two national stock exchanges held a special trading session just for gold ETFs to begin the Hindu festival of Dhanteras, the first day of the five-day Diwali festival and a traditionally auspicious day to buy gold, reports Khushita Vasant for the Wall Street Journal. [End of Year Outlook for Gold, Commodity ETFs]

Jigar Pandit, associate vice president for commodities and currencies at Mumbai brokerage Sharekhan, notes that many waited until Sunday to make their investments, including himself. [Obama Victory Seen Bullish for Gold ETFs]

In prior years, Indian stock exchange have opened during Diwali since it is thought to bring good fortune to business conducted on that day, but the day-long gold trading session is a new addition.

India is one of the largest gold-importing countries in the world. The physical demand for gold is mainly for jewelry. However, with the advent of ETFs and the rising gold prices, more Indians have used gold as an investment and hedge against inflation.

According to the India’s National Stock Exchange, India-listed gold ETFs had $2 billion in assets as of September, or 40% higher year-over-year.