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Thursday,25-February-2021

Business

Upcoming wedding season to boost gold prices in India further

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Gold-ornaments

Trade tension between the US and China, uncertainty around Brexit and slowdown concerns have prompted investors globally to look for safe investments, one of which has traditionally been gold.

In this backdrop, experts say that gold prices in India are set to gain further, ahead of the upcoming wedding season.

“The recent revision of the global growth forecast to 3.5 per cent, from 3.7 per cent, by IMF further made investors watch out for the yellow metal and other risk investment assets. With the wedding season coming into the picture, physical demand for the metal shall keep the prices up,” said Vinod Jayakumar of Karvy Commodities.

For consumers in India, gold as an asset class is normally from a consumption perspective rather than from returns, Prathamesh Mallya of Angel Broking told IANS.

While election may be a cause of uncertainty, Mallya said that neither gold consumption in India, nor the outlook towards gold from a prices perspective, is impacted by any change in government.

Other major factors that have pushed the prices higher in the past are global slowdown concerns and the dollar-rupee equation.

Economic indicators are already signaling a slowdown, which may worsen due to the uncertainty around Brexit.

“Gold prices are already gaining momentum with these kinds of issues and have seen a very strong start in 2019, so far,” said Vandana Bharti of SMC Global Securities.

“Recently, the rally in gold was majorly fueled by the investment demand though we saw the trend has changed and the traditional physical buying has again come in demand.”

Moreover, inflows into global gold exchange-traded funds ( ETFs) are picking up gradually and may give further boost to the prices, Bharti added.

Experts also said the prime factor behind the surge in gold prices was the dovish outlook of the US Federal Reserve.

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Business

Sensex up 500 points, Nifty reclaims 15,000

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Growth chart. (File Photo: IANS)

The key Indian equity indices opened on a positive note on Thursday with the BSE Sensex rising over 500 points.

The Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange also rose above the 15,000 mark.

Healthy buying activity was witnessed in metal, IT, banking and finance stocks.

Around 9.45 a.m., Sensex was at 51,323.82, higher by 542.13 points or 1.07 per cent from its previous close of 50,781.69.

It opened at 51,207.61 and has so far touched an intraday high of 51,386.12 and a low of 51,057.74 points.

The Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange was trading at 15,149.65, higher by 167.65 points or 1.12 per cent from its previous close.

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Business

As oilcos wait & watch, fuel prices remain steady

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Petrol

Oil marketing companies on Thursday continued with their wait and watch strategy and kept retail prices of petrol and diesel unchanged for the second consecutive day.

Accordingly, price of petrol continued to be at Rs 90.93 a litre and diesel Rs 81.32 a litre in the capital.

Elsewhere in the country as well, fuel prices remained unchanged after oil companies increased its pump prices on 13 of the last 17 days.

In the 13 increases since February 9, price have gone up by Rs 3.98 per litre for petrol while diesel rate has risen by Rs 4.19 a litre in Delhi.

The price pause on Thursday may be momentary as global oil prices are on the boil with benchmark Brent crude prices remaining above $67 a barrel. The product prices in international market has also firmed up over restricted supplies and a demand pick up.

The increase of fuel prices in the previous weeks has taken petrol across historic high levels of Rs 100 a litre in several cities across the country.

In Mumbai, petrol price is Rs 97.34 a litre while diesel is Rs 88.44 a litre.

In all other metros, petrol is over Rs 90 a litre mark while diesel is well over Rs 80 a litre. Premium petrol crossed Rs 100 per litre mark in several cities of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra a few days back.

The petrol and diesel prices have increased 25 times in 2021 with the two auto fuels increasing by Rs 7.22 and Rs 7.45 per litre respectively so far this year.

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Business

Traders across India to go on strike on Friday

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Traders-strike

Going ahead with their protest against arbitrary regulations and changes in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and alleged norm violations by e-commerce giants, traders across the country will go a day-long strike on Friday.

In a statement, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) the umbrella body which has called for the strike said that over 8 crore traders belonging to more than 40,000 trade associations across country will observe the ‘Bharat Vyapar Bandh’ to protest against some of the “draconian, arbitrary and critical” amendments made recently in GST rules.

It will also urge the government to rectify glitches in e-commerce for preventing violation of law by foreign e-commerce companies.

The All India Transport Welfare Association (AITWA) an apex body of 1 crore transporters have already supported the strike and has also announced ‘Chakka Jam’ of transport sector on Friday all over India.

CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said that not only traders but even small industries, hawkers, and women entrepreneurs among others will also join the bandh.

Further, associations of chartered accountants and tax advocates have supported the strike and have informed their clients not to visit their offices on Friday.

Khandelwal further said that on Friday as a mark of protest, ‘dharna’ will be held in more than 1,500 towns and cities across states and no traders will login to GST portal to register their protest.

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