Money

Kathmandu locals rushing to sell their jewellery as gold soars

- KRISHANA PRASAIN, Kathmandu

Jun 22, 2019-

Kathmanduites are rushing to sell their jewellery after gold prices hit a new peak. Traders said that buyers of the yellow metal had become rare.

“There are no buyers at all,” said Tej Ratna Shakya, former president of the Federation of Nepal Gold and Silver Dealers Association. “The bullion market in Kathmandu is flooded with sellers.”

Gold hit an all-time high of Rs65,000 per tola on Friday. Bullion market analysts predict that the price may go up to Rs70,000 per tola.

According to Reuters, gold prices increased to a near six-year high on Friday, surpassing the key $1,400 level on rising tensions in the Middle East. The combination of a weaker dollar, falling yields and the Middle East tensions have lifted gold by nearly 4 percent so far this week—its biggest rise since April 29, 2016. Since Wednesday, bullion has risen as much as $70 in the international market.

Shakya said demand for gold had dropped sharply to 10-15 kg daily from 35 kg daily during this time of the year in the past. “The trend in the bullion market has reversed. Buyers are selling more gold than bullion traders,” he said “We have been informed that a gold shop in Kathmandu Valley bought 20 kg of gold from customers on Thursday,” said Shakya. Every shop has been seeing around four customers selling five tolas of gold daily after prices started to rise.

The precious metal has been moving up since the budget statement was released on May 29 when the import duty was jacked up by Rs800 per 10 grams. Gold become dearer by Rs5,500 per tola in two weeks.

Suman Shrestha, owner of Panchakanya Jewellers at Maitidevi, said that the inflow of customers had increased slightly, but not to buy gold. “They want to sell gold. The market situation has reversed, and this came as a surprise to many traders during the peak wedding season.” He said some customers were still in a wait-and-watch mode before selling their jewellery as they expected prices to increase further.

“Today, one customer sold jewellery weighing two tolas that included a gold chain and a bangle,” he said.

On Sunday, gold prices hit a four-month high of Rs63,000 per tola in the local market.

The yellow metal has reached Rs63,000 per tola on two occasions, on March 8 this year and on August 28, 2013. The association said gold was traded at Rs62,300 on Thursday. The price increased by Rs700 per tola in a single day to close at Rs63,000 on Friday. It reached Rs63,000 on Sunday.

Gold was traded at Rs63,000 per tola when the market opened on Sunday and increased to Rs64,000 per tola on Thursday. It hit an all-time high of Rs65,000 per tola on Friday.

Shakya said that the Iranian tensions provided the catalyst for gold to increase in the international market and prices could still go up if the geopolitical tension is not settled.

In the international market, gold is considered a safe-haven asset by many investors. The news of escalating political tensions drives investors towards gold as a safe haven.

Published: 22-06-2019 08:54

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