* Discounts narrow to 25 cents in Tokyo, selling subsides
* Slow wedding demand in India
* Some investors ditch gold to buy shares
* Gold bars on par in Singapore, Hong Kong
By Lewa Pardomuan and Ruchira Singh
SINGAPORE/MUMBAI, March 31 Discounts for gold
bars narrowed in Japan on Tuesday after bullion's steady drop
from a its highest in three weeks, while a rebound in the stock
market prompted some investors to buy shares.
In India, the world's largest consumer, dealers complained
about poor sales during the normally busy wedding as consumers
waited for a price correction, but sales of scrap had subsided.
"There is still no buying. We feel at above $880 an ounce
nothing will happen. If it falls below $850, there will be good
demand," said Ketan Shroff, director of Pushpak Bullions Pvt
Ltd, referring to levels last seen in January.
"Recycled gold is still being used for weddings. But
otherwise demand is also less," he said.
Gold jewellery is the most common gift during religious
events in India and forms an essential part of the dowry
basket. The wedding season lasts until May.
Gold bars were on par with spot London prices in Hong Kong,
having been offered at a discount of 50 U.S. cents two weeks
ago. Sales also slowed down in Singapore, with gold trading 5
percent below a three-week high of $966.70 hit on March 20.
"For the long term, I guess many people are still positive
on gold and perhaps the physical people may see this as a good
opportunity for buying on dips," said Adrian Koh, analyst at
Phillip Futures in Singapore.
"I still dont think we are out of the doldrums yet, for the
stock market. So, that's going to cap any rise in the stock
market rally," he said.
Asian stocks edged up and were poised to score their
biggest monthly rise in a decade as some investors bet the most
painful stretch of corporate earnings damage may be over and
bought Asian technology shares. [MKTS/GLOB]
"The Tokyo stock market has dropped but compared with a few
weeks ago, it's actually moving upward. Selling from the
general public has slowed down recently and there's not much
buying interest either," said a dealer at a bullion house in
"I guess as long as people believe the stock market will
rebound further, they may forget about gold for a while," he
Gold bars were quoted at a discount of 25 U.S. cents to the
spot London prices in Tokyo, compared with a discount of 75
cents, reflecting a slowdown in sales from two weeks ago.
Cash gold XAU= added $3.45 an ounce to $919.75 after
Tokyo shares wiped out earlier gains. Gold has recovered about
4 percent from a six-week low of $882.90 hit on March 18, but
is 9 percent off the 11-month high above $1,000 set in
"There's light trading and Indonesia has been on the
sidelines for a week. I guess the current price is not low
enough to attract buying," said a dealer in Singapore.
"We saw some buying from Thailand when the market first
dropped to $930 levels but things have died down."
(Editing by Ben Tan)
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