Gold demand to soar as festive season kicks off in India
Gold prices have traditionally rallied in in September as India, the world's second-largest gold buyer, stocked up on the yellow metal ahead of its wedding season around Diwali.
But investors hoping the Indian Festival season will boost the metal’s ailing price are likely to be disappointed, analysts say.
“Demand is definitely picking up because of the festival season approaching but we don’t see a big spurt in the demand,” Surendra Mehta, secretary of the India Bullion and Jewellers’ Association told FT.com (subs. required). “Only the people who need gold are buying now, there are no investors.”
Despite this hike in physical demand, experts suggests the gold market will remain on the bearish side due to the slow demand from China, where consumer demand was down 52% in the second quarter of 2014, compared to the same period last year, while India’s only fell 39%.
ANZ analysts Victor Thianpiriya and Mark Pervan warned in a note to investors that as demand from China remains lacklustre, a further move lower in prices will be required to stoke interest from the key consumer,
ANZ forecast the gold price to drop further to $1,180 by year-end, gradually rebounding to $1,250 in 2015.
Gold demand has become subdued in India, as domestic investors favour equity markets, which have jumped 25% in the past six months on hopes of renewed economic growth following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s victory in May.
The latest figures from the World Gold Council show gold investment demand was down 62% year-on-year to just 94.3 tonnes in the first half of 2014, while jewellery demand plunged 14% year-on-year to 300 tonnes.
Long the top importer of gold, India fell behind China in 2013. Overall gold demand in India slid 26% during the first three months of 2014.