NEW DELHI (Commodity Online) : World's two largest gold consumers, India and China, have different figures to offer as afar as gold sale is concerned last week.
Global leader in gold consumption, India witnessed not so impressive figures last week as traditional gold buying festival 'Akshaya Trithiya' fails to boost sales.
The festival, which is more popular in south India, is the second-largest gold buying day in the world's largest market for gold.
Analysts said this might be an indication demand may remain subdued through the rest of the year if global prices continue to stay firm.
Prices have hardened tracking the international markets, where weakening currencies and fears of a European bailout package have spurred investor buying.
On the Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd (MCX), front month gold hit a new record high on Monday at Rs 18,416 ($403.6) per 10 grammes, breaking the previous record of 18,339 rupees hit on last Friday
Meanwhile, world's second largest consumer and top producer China's gold sales soared on concerns over inflation, with gold prices increasing to 335 yuan or $49 per gram last week.
Gold sales increased by 10-20 percent last week as buyers scrambled to make purchases on expectations prices would continue to rise.
The data from the first quarter of this year shows domestic sales of gold bars grew several times over compared to the same period of last year, which indicates the market is getting heated
Some shops even went out of stock. A Chow Tai Fook store in Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong Province, sold 50 gold bars each weighing 50 grams Friday after the price of gold increased.
Gold prices headed toward $1,250 per ounce Friday internationally, according to an index compiled by the World Gold Council measuring gold trading in markets around the world.
The soaring prices were partly caused by investors' fears after the European fiscal crisis, leading them to shed euro-denominated assets in favor of investments considered safe bets, such as gold.
Although China has the world's largest gold output and demand market, the international gold market is promoted by foreign capital.
Pricing and trading centres are not located in China, so therefore the domestic gold market lacks independence. Analysts pointed that the gold prices may continue to rise and reach a record high. But it is difficult to predict, so many investors are still waiting to see.
Analysts in China also believes international gold prices are still likely to be suppressed by the U.S. dollar and may witness major fluctuations. Domestic gold prices will also have the same trend.