Gold prices are likely to hover at around Rs 31,000 per 10 grams by the end of this year even though the demand for the metal may remain at 860 tonne after the government restrictions to curb imports, say experts.

“Weak rupee and higher duty will keep the landed cost of gold higher. The yellow metal is likely to be around Rs 30,500 to Rs 31,000 level by December end,” Angel Broking head Commodities Naveen Mathur told PTI here.

On the MCX exchange, gold was priced at Rs 28,600 per 10 grams, while in the international market it was at $ 1,376.70 per ounce.

Mr. Mathur said if government takes more measures to discourage import of gold, it will affect its supply thus putting more pressure on its prices.

Internationally, gold is range bound at present with a bearish outlook due to a strong US dollar and reports of improving American economy.

“Gold will be around $ 1,375-1,400 an ounce level by the year end. It will be pulled by opposite fundamentals like US dollar gaining strength and the growing Chinese demand,” he said.

According to Mr. Mathur, demand for gold is likely to remain same as that of last year.

“Even as the good monsoon indicates that demand for gold will pick up during the fourth quarter, high prices following higher customs duty and lack of supply will keep it under control,” he said.

However, the World Gold Council, which represents leading gold mining companies across the globe, said demand for gold in India and China was expected between 900 and 1,000 tonnes (in each nation) in 2013.

Kotak Commodity Services Analyst Madhavi Mehta said that with recycling of gold drying up and people holding on to the stocks, demand will to go over 860 tonne this year.

“The government has taken steps to curb import in order to restrict demand. And with the international prices just recovering and rupee looking bearish the yellow metal may touch a new high of over Rs 32,000 by December,” she added.

Globally, the metal may hover around $ 1,300-1,465 by the end of this year, she said.

Commtrendz Research Director Gnanasekar Thiagarajan said that if the government hikes more duty, then the high premium on gold in the domestic market might act a dampener for demand during the festival season in the fourth quarter.

However, even if the gold imports are restricted to the previous year’s level it will be much higher in value terms with the weak rupee, he said.

He said that going forward, gold prices will be at around Rs 31,000 in the domestic market and at $1,320-1,400 in the international market.

To contain the current account deficit, government has increased import duty on gold, silver and platinum to 10 per cent with a view to arrest the declining value of rupee and contain the fiscal deficit to 3.7 per cent of the GDP.

The Reserve Bank has also imposed restrictions on gold imports by banks and other authorised agencies.

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