September 10, 2007 / 9:26 AM / 10 years ago

India gold demand low, buyers watch prices harden

A woman looks at a gold ornament at Vivaha '06", a travelling wedding exhibition, in Kolkata August 7, 2006.Jayanta Shaw/Files

MUMBAI (Reuters) - India's demand for gold was low on Monday with prices hardening in the midst of the busy season, and buyers shifting gears to restrict purchases to immediate needs, dealers said.

"People were certainly not expecting such a sharp rise in price," said Mayank Khemka, managing director of Khemka International Pvt Ltd in New Delhi.

"At these prices they probably won't stock for the future."

International gold prices were firm after touching $707.10 an ounce on Friday, its highest since mid-May 2006, on fresh investments in the metal.

The surge was not good news for India, in the midst of its festival season, when consumers buy gold for religious sentiments.

Prices above 9,000 rupees would curb the appetite of consumers, dealers said.

Dealers in banks also echoed the sentiment, saying buyers are waiting and watching the market and would be comfortable buying when prices stabilise.

"They would be looking for prices around 9,200 rupees (per 10 grams)," said one dealer in a private bank.

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