Gold price slumps by Rs 1‚100 per tola

KATHMANDU, March 9: Gold price plunged sharply by Rs 1,100 per tola in a single day to trade at an over three-month low of Rs 50,500 per tola today in the domestic market, tracking a global downtrend in the bullion market due to low demand.

The gold price fixed on Sunday is one of the biggest single-day fall in the bullion market over the year. However, it recorded a 19-month low at Rs 49,800 per tola on November 1, last year.

Gold is gradually losing lustre in the international market due to a stronger dollar and the likely extension of Greece’s bailout programme. The domestic gold price is being fixed according to the international market price, as per Tej Ratna Shakya, former president of the Federation of Nepal Gold and Silver Dealers’ Association. The price of gold has been tumbling since last four weeks.

Gold is mostly consumed in the form of jewellery in the country. Import of gold slumped by about 85 per cent during the first half of current fiscal 2014-15 as compared to corresponding period of last fiscal due to subdued demand for new jewellery products.

The country had imported gold worth Rs 12.16 billion in the first half of fiscal 2013-14, while import in the first half of this fiscal stood at Rs 1.83 billion, as per Nepal Rastra Bank data. Only commercial banks are authorised to import gold and the central bank’s regulation allows import of 15 kg per day.

Likewise, silver price on Sunday slumped by Rs 15 per tola and traded at a three-month low of Rs 680 per tola. Though there has been a decrease in the import of gold this year, silver import has risen by 145.7 per cent in the first half of this fiscal as compared to the corresponding period of the previous fiscal 2013-14.

Country imported silver worth Rs 12.86 billion in first half of this fiscal as against import of Rs 5.24 billion in first half of last fiscal.