New Delhi/Chennai/ Mumbai, May 2 IANS | 8 months ago

People bought gold on the auspicious Akshaya Trittiya Friday, but sales of the yellow metal remained tepid on market uncertainties.

Experts earlier had cautioned investors with a short-term plan of one-two years that they should avoid gold as any price appreciation is unlikely.

Others blamed the weather for the slackened retail sales. "The severe heat is keeping most people away. We are hopeful of a further pick-up in sales by evening as people will take advantage of the 'muhurat' for buying of gold," said Rakesh Shetty, Mumbai Jewellers Federation chief.

Akshaya Tritiya, which is considered by the Hindus and Jains as an auspicious day to buy precious metals, saw a surge in demand last year after global prices slumped into a bear market.

"Demand was quite low on the last two days, but it has picked up because of Akshaya Tritiya," Rahul Gupta, chairman and managing director of P.P. Jewellers in New Delhi, told IANS.

Bullion and jewellery traders said a weakening trend in the precious metals market overseas after the US Federal Reserve decided to cut stimulus put pressure on the gold prices here.

Token retail purchases on the occasion of Akshaya Tritiya, they said, helped restrict the fall in the prices of the precious metal.

Globally, gold in Singapore, which normally sets price trend on the domestic front, fell by 0.2 percent to USD 1,282.25 an ounce.

In New Delhi gold price was hovering around Rs.30,150 per 10 grams, Gupta said.

"There is more demand for jewellery rather than coins and bars," said Bachhraj Bamalwa of the All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation.

Suraj Shantakumar, director at diamond and gold jewellery chain Kirtilals in Chennai, told IANS: "We expect the sales growth would be around 20 percent this Akshaya Tritya as compared to last year's figures."

"We are seeing more footfalls in all our nine outlets in the four southern states and the conversion rates are also higher," he said.

The 75-year-old Kirtilals vertically integrated jewellery chain is one of the first jewellers to propagate gold purchases on Akshaya Tritiya in Tamil Nadu.

(Posted on 02-05-2014)

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