Money

High prices put off festive gold buyers

- KRISHANA PRASAIN, Kathmandu

Nov 6, 2018-

Gold sales remained weak on Monday when the festival of Dhanteras occurs even though it is traditionally considered to be a lucky day for buying precious metals. Bullion traders said high prices had put off potential buyers. Even then, sales in the Kathmandu Valley are expected to reach 40 kg on Monday, they said.

Dhanteras is the first day of the five-day-long Tihar festival. It’s a big gold buying day as it is considered to be very auspicious. Dhanteras puja begins after sunset on Monday.

Tej Ratna Shakya, past president of the Federation of Nepal Gold and Silver Dealers’ Association (Fenegosida), said that sales of the yellow metal were down 30 percent this Dhanteras due to a sharp rise in prices. Gold was traded at Rs60,000 per tola (11.66 gm) on Monday.

“Despite the lacklustre customer turnout, sales on Monday are expected to be 50 percent higher than on normal days,” Shakya said. “We have estimated that 40 kg of gold will be sold in the Kathmandu Valley on Monday.” Silver sales are expected to touch 500 kg, Shakya said. Gold sales are expected to reach Rs200 million, while silver worth Rs300 million is expected to be sold on the day, he said.

“Footfall at jewellery shops is very low this year as compared to last year’s Dhanteras, said Mohan Kumar Sunar, president of Fenegosida, adding that this was caused by high prices. However, silver items such as coins and statues that are offered to the deities during religious ceremonies are in high demand, he added. People like to buy gold coins on the day of Dhanteras.

The price of gold has been on an upward trend for the past month. Fenegosida said that the yellow metal had become dearer by Rs2,400 per tola over the period. Gold hit a five-year high of Rs60,000 per tola in the domestic market last week.

Traders have attributed the jump in prices to a rising US dollar and higher prices on the international market. Domestic gold prices are fixed mainly on the basis of the international market.

Published: 06-11-2018 09:34

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