BENGALURUMUMBAI, Dec 24 Reuters Physical gold discounts rose in India this week as buyers remained on the sidelines, while demand in Singapore and other Asian hubs ticked up as buyers took advantage of lower prices ahead of holidays.
Indian consumers avoided gold purchases due to Khar Mass, a period considered to be inauspicious that runs from Dec. 15 to Jan. 14.
People are more focused on holidays than making big ticket purchases, said Mukesh Kothari, director at Mumbai gold dealer RiddiSiddhi Bullions, adding demand would remain subdued next week.
Dealers were offering a discount of 2 an ounce this week over official domestic prices, inclusive of 12.5 import and 3 sales levies, up from last weeks 1.
Spot gold prices were set to mark their first weekly decline in four.
In China, discounts narrowed to 1520 an ounce, versus last weeks 1620, while in Hong Kong, premiums of 0.501.50 were being charged from last weeks 0.50.
Physical gold has traded at a discount since March in China, the worlds biggest bullion consumer, as the coronavirus pandemic deterred buying.
Dealers said lower prices going into festivities and pentup demand might boost consumption.
In Singapore, gold was being sold at a premium of 0.901.20 an ounce over global benchmark prices, compared with 0.801.30 last week, as demand picked up on gift buying ahead of Christmas, traders said.
However, the Southeast Asian island has lost out on tourist demand this year, having kept its borders largely shut…