High bullion prices led some people to sell old jewellery in India this week amid dim physical gold demand, while a resurgence in COVID-19 cases in China hit purchases of the precious metal in the country.
India's gold imports could fall in March as demand is weak and there was robust flow of old jewellery and coins, a Kolkata-based bullion dealer said.
Dealers offered a discount of up to $53 an ounce on official domestic prices, inclusive of 10.75% import and 3% sales levies, higher than last week's discount of $45.
Local gold prices in India jumped close to all-time highs earlier this month.
"Retail buyers are waiting for a correction. Jewellers are not buying as (the country's) financial year is coming to an end and they want to close accounts," said a Mumbai-based bullion dealer with a private bank.
In China, gold discounts stood at around $5 an ounce on global benchmark spot rates compared with $4 to $6 in the previous week.
In the past month, gold has been sold at lower premiums as the pandemic hasn't stopped in many cities in China, impacting purchases, said Roland Wang, regional CEO of WGC China.
Slow seasonal demand and the price jump in a short period of time due to the geographic tensions has also led to a slowdown in Chinese gold demand, he added.
In Hong Kong, gold was sold between an 80 cent discount to $2 premium, while in Singapore it traded at premiums of about $1.20 to 1.50 an ounce. "There's more wholesale buying since people are actually covering shorts when prices were high," said Brian Lan, managing director at dealer GoldSilver Central.
"But we do see predominantly more selling from wholesalers during higher prices like $1,940 plus," Lan added.
In Tokyo, gold was sold at a discount of 50 cents to a premium of 50 cents.
(Reporting by Seher Dareen, Swati Verma, Asha Sistla and Bharat Govind Gautam in Bengaluru, Rajendra Jhadav in Mumbai; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)