Commodities; Gold Pounded By Change In Economic View, Indian Budget. —
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Commodities; Gold Pounded By Change In Economic View, Indian Budget.

March 19th 2012 - Australasian Investment Review – (AIR)

New York gold finished with a tiny gain in after hours trading after losing ground in the normal trading session on Friday night, our time.

Comex gold for April delivery fell $US3.70, or 0.2%, to settle at $US1,655.80 an ounce in New York after hitting a low of $US1,639.70.

By the time after hours trading had ended, gold had added $US1 to end at $US1,6661.

For the week the loss of 3.3%, or more than $US50 an ounce.

Comex silver for May delivery also slipped 12 cents, or 0.4%, to finish at $32.60 an ounce.

Prices fell a larger 4.7% for the week.

While the most obvious reason for gold’s weakness was the sudden change in sentiment towards the health of the US economy, and that jump in bond yields, there was also a more worrying factor for the metal’s medium term strength.

That was the latest Indian budget which saw the second increase in taxes on gold this year.

The excise duty on gold bars and coins will rise to 4% from the 2% level set last January.

It was seen as an attempt by the world’s second biggest bullion buyer, to crimp demand and imports of the precious metal after record purchases helped widened the current-account deficit.

There was no change on the silver tax, which should support silver prices.

India doubled the tax on gold and silver on January 17 by imposing a levy on imports as a percentage of the price, compared with the previous system of tax by weight.

The yen fell for a sixth week against the dollar, its longest losing streak in three years,

In the 2012-13 budget, revealed late last week, the import duty on so-called non-standard gold doubled to 10% and the levy on ore, concentrates and so-called dore bars was doubled to 2%.

The excise tax on refined gold climbs to 3% from 1.5% and the government will also levy a 1% excise duty on non-branded gold jewellery.

Jewellery purchases in excess of 200,000 rupees will attract a 1% tax from July 1.

India imported 936 tonnes of gold in 2011. The rise from April 1 to December 31 was 50%, but that hides a 44% slump in December quarter imports as the slide in the value of the rupee boosted gold prices.

Other major metals finished broadly lower on Comex, with all but copper posting losses for the week.

May copper closed down 2 cents, or 0.5%, at $US3.88 a pound.

Prices were up half a per cent over the week.

Crude oil prices climbed Friday.

New York WTI April futures rose $US1.95, or 1.9%, to $US107.06 a barrel.

Crude-oil futures had faced a more than 1% decline for the week, but Friday’s rise sliced the weekly loss to just 0.3%.

In London Brent ended with a near 3% gain to just over $US126 a barrel.

This Information is provided to you by the Australasian Investment Review (AIR). Subscriptions are free.AIR reports about financial markets and investment products in the widest sense possible. The AIR website and all its contents is prepared for general information only, and as such, the specific needs, investment objectives or financial situation of any particular user have not been taken into consideration. Individuals should therefore talk with their financial planner or advisor before making any investment decision.


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