Indian gold dealers offered bigger discounts to attract consumers who delayed purchases due to a spike in prices this week, while China's reopening plans have kept premiums firm in the world's top bullion buyer.
Gold discounts in India were at their highest in a month, with dealers offering a discount of up to $25 an ounce over official domestic prices — inclusive of the 15% import and 3% sales levies, up from the last week's discount of $20.
The sudden spike in prices has surprised consumers, who were delaying purchases, said Ashok Jain, proprietor of Mumbai-based gold wholesaler Chenaji Narsinghji.
"Buyers are waiting for a correction."
Local gold prices jumped to their highest since March earlier this week.
The price rise has been spoiling wedding season demand and forcing many potential consumers to postpone purchases, a Mumbai-based bullion dealer with a private bank said.
Premiums in China were in the range of $10 to $20 an ounce over benchmark spot prices, versus last week's $10-$25.
"China continues to see restriction easing, so there is demand. However, buying was limited since spot prices went above $1,800. If prices remain below that level, demand will improve," said Peter Fung, head of dealing at Wing Fung Precious Metals.
China has set out plans to expand domestic consumption and investment, the official Xinhua news agency said on Wednesday.
Demand should pick up as China issues strategic plans to expand domestic demand, said Bernard Sin, regional director, Greater China at MKS PAMP.
"Hong Kong also ended 0+3 COVID regime, this certainly helped to smoothen trans shipment into China."
In Hong Kong, gold was sold at par with the benchmark to $2.50 premiums , while Singapore dealers charged $1.50-$3.00 premiums .
In Japan, bullion was sold between flat to a $0.50 premium.
The local gold market has been quiet as it is waiting for new cues for trade, a Tokyo-based trader said.
(Reporting by Ashitha Shivaprasad, Brijesh Patel and Swati Verma in Bengaluru, Rajendra Jhadav in Mumbai; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)