Gold hits 19-month low; bargain buying on

MUMBAI Thu Apr 18, 2013 12:06am IST

A girl tries a gold necklace inside a jewellery showroom in Mumbai, April 16, 2013. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

A girl tries a gold necklace inside a jewellery showroom in Mumbai, April 16, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Danish Siddiqui

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MUMBAI (Reuters) - Indian gold futures edged lower on Wednesday on losses in the global markets and a stronger rupee, triggering bargain buying among physical traders. Prices, however, recovered late.

The actively traded gold contract for June delivery on the Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) ended down 112 rupees at 25,654 rupees per 10 grams, after hitting a low of 25,435 rupees during trade.

U.S. gold for June delivery was 0.37 percent lower at $1,382.2 an ounce. The rupee, which firmed in trade on Wednesday, plays an important role in determining the landed cost of the dollar-quoted yellow metal.

"There are many buyers after consolidation in prices ... sales will rise for Akshaya Tritiya," said S.K. Jain, vice-president of All India Sarafa Association.

India, the world's biggest buyer of the yellow metal, will celebrate Akshaya Tritiya, a key gold buying festival, next month. The wedding season has also begun and will continue till early June.

India has been trying to curb imports to put a lid on the record-high current account deficit. The federal government raised the import duty on gold, which it called a dead investment, by 50 percent to 6 percent in January.

On April 2, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram suggested the government was unlikely to raise the import tax on gold further to avoid gold smuggling.

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