Gold prices and bullion-related exchange traded funds have been steadily weakening this year, but the cheap precious metal has attracted a surge in India demand, which could help support a price floor.
COMEX gold futures were trading around $1,159 per ounce Thursday.
According to the World Gold Council, the diminished gold prices, a new Narendra Modi administration and improved economic outlook are providing an “encouraging backdrop” for gold demand, with India regaining its title as the world’s top gold consumer, outpacing China over the third quarter, reports Henry Sanderson for the Financial Times.
“Although Indian consumers are typically wary of buying gold while the price is still moving, preferring to wait until it settles at a more stable level, the opportunity to buy at cheaper prices proved, for some, hard to resist,” the World Gold Council said in a report.
India gold demand hit 225 tons over the third quarter, compared to 194.1 tons from China and Taiwan. Notably, Indian jewellery demand jumped 60% to 182.9 tons in the months through September, the second highest third-quarter rise on record.
“We see really positive momentum in the Indian market – Modi has engendered a sense of optimism about economic growth,” Alistair Hewitt, head of market intelligence at the WGC, said in the article. “Jewellery demand is looking good and that will feed through to the fundamentals and continue to support the global gold market.”
Additionally, the looser import restrictions may have also helped bolster India’s gold demand. Imports rose to 150 tons in October, compared to 24.5 tons for the same month last year.