KOCHI (Commodity Online): After the slump in gold prices in Kerala, jewelers are waiting for the demand to pick up after Easter (April 4) when Christian marriages will see a rise. During the 50-day lent period prior to Easter, Christians do not conduct marriages as this is not allowed by the Church. So, many marriages are lined up immediately after the Easter.

Jewellers in Kerala are now banking on this wedding season demand. Meanwhile, jewellers across Asia chased gold bars after bullion prices dropped more than $10 last week, while India was stocking up as the wedding season begins again in April.

A jeweler in Kochi said he expects a big jump in demand for gold jewellery in Kerala after Easter as there will be more weddings and the prices are slightly down.

Another shop owner in Kottayam said post-Easter is the best season with Vishu also being celebrated in Kerala in a big way.

Dealers also noted active buying from jewellers in Indonesia and Thailand while consumers from the electronics sector in Hong Kong returned to the physical market as bullion prices slipped below the psychological level of $1,100 an ounce.

The wedding season starts in April in Kerala and some other parts of India, which accounts for 20 per cent of global demand for gold. Gold jewellery is the most common gift during religious events in India and local jewellers normally stock up weeks before key celebrations.

Another auspicious occasion in April is Bihu (April 14), which is the beginning of the new year for several states in India, including Kerala and Assam.

In Hong Kong, premiums for gold bars inched up to $1.20 to the spot London prices, also their strongest in more than a month, versus $1 last week.

After the Chinese New Year, refiners have been receiving new order from the customers. Gold has dropped from recent highs, mainly due to a rally in the dollar and uncertainty over a bailout package for debt-ridden Greece, but an increase in ETF holdings showed gold still attracted investors as currencies remained volatile.