Business | Wed Jan 9, 2013 3:09pm IST

Gold buying slows as prices move sideways

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Gold buying by traders in India, the world's biggest consumer of the metal, slowed as prices were stuck in a range for a third day in a row after overseas leads outweighed a stronger rupee back home.

* The wedding season will re-start in India by mid-January and will continue until May. Festivals will also take place during this period.

* The most-active gold for February delivery on the Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) was 0.18 percent lower at 30,918 rupees per 10 grams at 2:44 p.m., after trading in a tight range of 30,821-31,058 rupees in the previous three sessions.

* "Market has slowed as everyone is waiting for correction," said Ketan Shroff, director, Mumbai-based wholesaler Penta Gold, adding "If there is correction, people will be able to digest the price post the duty hike."

* India could raise the import duty on the yellow metal from the current 4 percent, as part of measures to contain a record high current account deficit. The central bank has also recommended limits on value and volumes of gold imports.

* Overseas gold held around $1,660 an ounce on Wednesday as investors awaited policy decisions by central banks in Japan and the euro zone.

* The rupee, which traded stronger, plays an important role in determining the landed cost of the dollar-quoted yellow metal.

* Premiums stayed steady at $2-3 an ounce on London prices, a level last seen in November last year.

* March silver edged 0.17 percent lower to 58,369 rupees per kg.

(Reporting by Siddesh Mayenkar; Editing by Jijo Jacob)

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