BENGALURUMUMBAI, Dec 31 Reuters Physical gold demand remained largely muted across top Asian hubs this week as holidays kept buyers at bay, although prices in India flipped to a premium due to constrained shipments.
Retail demand is negligible as people are in vacation mood, said a Mumbaibased dealer with a bullion importing bank.
Indian dealers were charging a premium of up to 2.5 an ounce this week over official domestic prices, inclusive of 12.5 import and 3 sales levies, up from last weeks discount of 2.
Gold imports have nearly stopped in the last few days as most overseas banks are closed for vacation, allowing local dealers to charge a premium despite weak demand, said a Chennaibased bullion dealer.
Local gold futures were trading around 50,200 rupees per 10 grams on Thursday.
Spot gold prices were on track for a 1 gain this week.
In China, discounts were unchanged from previous week at 1520 an ounce as demand remained muted amid the yearend holidays, while in Hong Kong, premiums held steady at 0.501.50 as the pandemic continued to stifle activity.
Despite lacklustre physical gold purchases, which forced dealers in the worlds biggest bullion consumer to offer steep discounts on gold for most of 2020, dealers expect demand to recover next year as consumer who held back on buying return to the market.
In Singapore, an uptick in demand marginally widened premiums to 0.901.30 an ounce from last weeks 0.901.20.
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