March 20, 2012 / 9:28 AM / 6 years ago

India gold traders stay away from deals on strike

MUMBAI, March 20 (Reuters) - Gold traders in India stayed away from new deals on Tuesday as fourth day of jewellers’ strike hit retail demand in the world’s biggest consumer of bullion.

* “Buying is very slow as jewellers have extended their strike for another two days. We have hardly done fresh imports in the last two days,” said a dealer with a private bank, which imports gold for jewellery makers.

* The strike, which started on Saturday and will end on Wednesday, is in protest against two import duty increases since the start of the year.

* “We are idle since last week, and jewellers are in no mood to reopen stores,” said Harshad Ajmera, proprietor of JJ Gold House in Kolkata.

* Gold on the Multi Commodity Exchange was down 0.39 percent at 27,791 rupees per 10 grams. The additional duty will increase the cost of gold by more than 1,000 rupees per 10 grams.

* Silver futures fell more than a percent. Silver for May delivery was 0.84 percent lower at 57,024 rupees per kg.

At 1:15 p.m, following were the prices in rupees being quoted by the HDFC Bank in the spot market :

Tuesday Monday

=================================================

Gold .999/10 grams 27,495 27,438

Silver .999/kg 56,125 55,925

At 2:30 p.m., following were the prices in rupees on the Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd. :

Contract Current price Net change

====================================================

Apr gold 27,795 -106

May silver 57,016 -489 (Reporting by Siddesh Mayenkar; Editing by Rajesh Pandathil)

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