MUMBAI, Jan 4 Gold importers in India, the
world's biggest buyer of the metal, took advantage of a near 1
percent fall in prices on Friday to stock up amid continued talk
of an import duty hike.
* The actively traded gold for February delivery on
the Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) was 0.80 percent lower at
30,698 rupees per 10 grams at 0944 GMT.
* "Activity is good due to a correction in prices, which was
anticipated. Few people are trying to stock up at these levels
in case a customs duty hike comes in," said a dealer with a
private bullion importing bank.
* A strong dollar overseas also contributed to the fall in
the yellow metal.
* Worried by ballooning current account deficit, the finance
minister hinted at making gold shipments more expensive, saying
it was under consideration, but did not elaborate on the type of
measures. India has a 4 percent import duty on gold.
* The central bank also recommended restrictions on value
and volumes on importing banks and agencies.
* Silver fell the most in more than four months. The March
delivery contract on the MCX fell to 56,841 rupees, its
lowest since Aug. 31. It was 2.96 percent lower at 56,917 rupees
per kg as of 0945 GMT.
* The following were the prices of gold and silver in rupees
at 1:15 p.m. in the spot market, quoted by HDFC Bank :
Gold .999/10 grams 30,630 31,025
Silver .999/kg 57,770 59,825
(Reporting by Siddesh Mayenkar; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)