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Akshay Tritiya lifts gold sales across India

May 6, 2011 - Ahmedabad

The demand for gold shot up across the country on Friday as a decrease in the yellow metal's price encouraged people to buy it on the occasion of Hindu festival, Akshay Tritiya.

Akshaya Tritiya is one of the two most auspicious days of the year to buy gold in India, as Hindus believe they can get lasting prosperity by buying precious metals on the day. The other festival is Dhanteras in November.

Gold spot prices on international markets have fallen over 100 dollars in five days, but steadied on Friday to around 1,486.96 dollars per ounce.

Last night's fall had already translated into price cuts on the floor, with a 20 gram gold medallion asking 47,375 rupees on Friday from 48,015 rupees on Thursday.

"Today's sale is more than 25 percent in comparison to last year and we believe that the main reason behind this is the price of gold which has came down in past four-five days," said Manoj Soni, a jeweller in Ahmedabad.

Bindi Shah, a customer, said although the gold price was still heavy on her pocket, but on the auspicious occasion of Akshay Tritiya she did not wanted to miss the chance of buying the yellow metal.

"I am a regular buyer of gold and silver. I'm very fond of buying gold and silver so today is the very auspicious day and we believe in buying gold especially on the this day so we have come to buy gold today," Shah said.

Meanwhile, in Chennai, jewellers rejoiced over the increase in sales in comparison to last year.

P. Joseph, a gold analyst, said that due to recession people were now more interested in making investment in gold rather than in foreign currencies.

"When you look at last two years there's been a very drastic increase in gold price and we look at this year which is 2011, from January there's been around 20 percent increase compared to January and Akshay Tritiya in May," Joseph said.

"The reason for this would be sovereign debt problems, as you all know US and Europe have been under recession for quite sometime and they are still not out of it. People who used to trade in papers are now trading in physical gold," he added.

Jewellers in Mumbai also witnessed huge sales as buyers took the price fall in their stride with the difference of daily price changes lower given the smaller size of purchases.

"I have come here to buy gold with an intention that it will bring prosperity to us because it is considered auspicious to buy gold on Akshay Tritiya. I have bought gold nose pin for myself," said Harsha Dave, a gold buyer.

The Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange extended trading hours for gold exchange-traded funds (ETFs) for the festival by five and a half hours.


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