LONDON (Commodity Online): Those investors who were banking on the bad news from Europe to help gold prices rise may have to think twice.
With several market analysts predicting a big bull run in bullion, investors have been rushing to gold as a safe haven following the disastrous news spread about the financial crisis in Spain, Portugal and Greece. And, this week more doomsday predictions cropped up about an imminent slump in China also.
When all market pundits were busy forecasting that gold will cash in on the impending doom in Europe, there are other indicators which favour a fall in gold prices. It seems, the world's biggest gold consumer, India, is shying away from the bullion market with the prices ruling very high.
There are indications that India may buy less gold in the coming days. First hint to this effect came when India reported a fall in gold imports in April.
In normal circumstances, India should be buying more gold this year as the Met department has predicted a good monsoon which means India's rural population will have more money in their hands this year. But, this has not helped gold improve its demand in India. The stumbling block is the high price.
Indians market is waiting for the gold prices to slide. This was obvious when Indians rushed to buy gold when its prices slumped a bit in April. But the prices moved up once the Greece and Spain crisis spread.
If the gold demand remains this way, Indian consumers will be buying less gold on the auspicious occasion of Akshay Tritiya this year.
Akshay Tritiya - a day chosen by people across the country for weddings and starting new ventures - which falls on May 16 in normal circumstances witness a huge demand for gold in India.
People rush to jewellery shops on this day to buy gold as it is an auspicious day to buy the yellow metal.
India's gold imports in April was between 34 and 37 tonnes, down from last year's 49.8 tonnes, recording the year's first monthly fall. April figure showed the first monthly decline in 2010.
Imports in January to April were at 126 tonnes, up 74 percent from a year ago.
Most bullion dealers and jewellers feel that imports in the April-June period could slow down from the previous quarter if prices keep up their tempo.
Gold of 99.95% purity has gone up from an average of Rs 16,604 per 10 gm in March to Rs 16,709 in April. While the average price of overseas spot gold has risen by 3.1% in a month to April, spot gold in Mumbai rose by 0.6% as the rupee rose from an average of 45.48 to the dollar in March to 44.47 in April.