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Gold loses sheen for 3rd year; investors eye other asset classes

Mumbai :Set for the third straight year of downtrend, gold has lost further sheen in 2015 with a fall of over Rs 1,000 per ten grams in its prices as investors looked for other asset classes and the government sought to monetise the holdings lying idle with the households and institutions.

The silver has been no better with a dip of about 8 per cent in its prices. The gold prices have dipped by about 5 per cent this year.

Extreme volatile in the rupee value and the uncertainty around the long-pending rate hike in the US added to the roller-coaster ride for gold throughout 2015, while the headwinds from a slowdown in China added to the worries.

Subdued domestic demand along with fears over slowdown in global consumption further dampened the sentiments, while improving outlook for equity markets led to the investors looking for asset classes with better return prospects.

Measures to curb gold imports for most part of the year and the government’s ambitious gold monetisation scheme to encourage households and institutions including temples also had their own impacts.

After beginning the year at around Rs 26,700 per ten gram, the gold prices have fallen to Rs 25,500-level so far in 2015 with just four more days of trading to go.

The silver prices have also fallen from about Rs 37,200 per kg to close to Rs 34,300 level this year.

The tumultuous rise and fall of the yellow metal’s price badly affected investment demand, while a weak monsoon appears to have hit the rural income levels.

Heavy outflows from the gold exchange-traded funds (ETFs) too played a role in driving down both the prices and the investors’ expectations.

The relaxations in stringent gold import norms by both the government and RBI towards the end of the year have failed to support the prices so far.