Business | Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:47pm IST

Gold prices steady, importers slow down purchases

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Gold importers in India, the world's biggest buyer of the metal, slowed down purchases as they waited for a direction in prices that were steady, tracking a similar trend in currency and overseas markets.

After a 50 percent import duty increase to 6 percent on January 21, the Reserve Bank of India last week recommended putting curbs on imports, along with launching gold-linked products to limit shipments. The wedding and festival season is currently on in India.

"Demand has slowed as there are fewer marriages... people are wanting to buy at 30,000 rupees," said Haresh Acharya, head of the bullion desk at the Ahmedabad-based Parker Bullion.

At 2:10 p.m., the actively traded gold for April delivery on the Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) was 0.03 percent higher at 30,583 rupees per 10 grams.

The rupee, which was steady on Wednesday, plays an important role in determining the landed cost of the dollar-quoted yellow metal. Comex gold for April was little changed at $1,647.6 an ounce.

Silver for March delivery on the MCX was 0.24 percent higher at 57,691 rupees per kg.

(Reporting by Siddesh Mayenkar; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)

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