April 17, 2013 / 8:49 AM / 5 years ago

Gold hits 19-month low; bargain buying on

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.

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

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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