Perhaps not coincidentally, gold imports to India surged 65%. Last year, the Indian government raised import tariffs on gold and other precious metals in an effort to stem its widening current account deficit that pressured the rupee and Indian equities.
“Shipments surged to $3.12 billion last month from $1.89 billion a year earlier while the trade deficit widened to $11.8 billion, the highest since July last year,” reports Swansy Afonso for Bloomberg, citing data from India’s Commerce Ministry.
Gold ETFs have traded lower this week on talk of light physical demand and speculation that Portugal’s banking system is not as bad as off as investors were thinking last week. However, GLD is up 4% since the start of June and data suggest investors are returning to gold ETFs in earnest. [Gold Wants More Market Volatility]
Since the start of July, GLD has hauled in $772.2 million in assets while the iShares Gold Trust (NYSEArca: IAU) has added nearly $14 million in new assets.
India is the world’s second-largest gold consumer behind China. Earlier Wednesday, the Indian government reduced its import tariff on gold to $425 per 10 grams from $428 while raising the tariff on silver to $690 per kilogram from $688.