Gold's lost its glitter

WSJ: Indian jewelers' hopes that the Hindu holy day Akshaya Trithya would give a fillip to declining gold sales look to have been dashed, as many customers stayed away or scaled down purchases. India is the world's biggest gold buyer, but imports have fallen to negligible levels in recent months as the rupee has weakened, making dollar-denominated gold more expensive to local buyers. Akshaya Trithya, which fell on Monday this year, is considered an auspicious day to make long-term purchases or start new ventures - Akshaya means "the never diminishing" in Sanskrit - and has traditionally boosted gold demand in India. Gold sales usually pick up the week before the festival.

At around 14,800 rupees ($293) per 10 grams, retail gold prices were about 25% higher this year compared to prices at last year's festival, levels unattractive to India's famously price-sensitive gold buyers. That increase is due to a weaker rupee - gold is denominated in dollars internationally - which at last year's festival was around 40 to the dollar against about 50 to the dollar this year.


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