December 12, 2008 / 2:17 PM / 10 years ago

Platinum falls to gold's level, may boost India demand

MUMBAI, Dec 12 (Reuters) - A fall in international platinum prices that brings it nearly on par with gold, could boost the demand for the white metal, but not at the cost of gold, traders and retailers said on Friday.

Since both gold and platinum prices are at a similar level, platinum demand would prop up at the current levels, said Mukul Sonawala, partner of Narrondass Nanordass, a bullion trading house in Mumbai.

At 7:32 p.m., international platinum XPT=, which depends on carmakers for a huge portion of demand, traded at $800 an ounce after it fell to a session low of $793 after the collapse of a $14 billion bailout for troubled U.S. automakers, lower than gold which was at $815.40 an ounce.

However, a Bangalore-based jeweller said a 10-gram platinum ring would cost around 40,000 rupees due to an untransparent market.

“There is no demand (for platinum).... nothing much as of now,” said Trimurti Zaveri, partner at Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri and Sons, a Mumbai-based jewellery retailer.

“We might see some demand coming in later as prices have crashed,” Zaveri added.

However, not all gold sellers believed platinum could see a substantial rise in demand.

Platinum is not on the radar of the Indian customers, said Ashish Pethe, partner at Mumbai-based Waman Hari Pethe Jewellers.

“We are not witnessing any special activity as rates have come down,” Pethe added. (Reporting by Siddesh Mayenkar; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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