Inflation, falling yields and the US dollar pushed gold higher
Marking a turnaround from the first three months of the year, gold rebounded 4.5% in April to finish the month at US$1,768/oz - its highest monthly closing level since January and its first positive monthly return since December 2020.
A sharp rise in US interest rates and a stronger dollar have weighed on gold recently. But a rebound in economic activity and a lower gold price have provided opportunities for consumers and strategic investors alike.
The Indian government’s sustained campaign for improving overall tax compliance through a carrot-and-stick policy was reflected again in the 2021-22 Union Budget, with a few material announcements that impact gold.
Demand for gold loans, both through banks and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) has grown in response to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
India has embraced online retailing across different categories. Digital and social activity plays an increasingly important part in the purchase journey for gold.
Vishal Jain is widely regarded as the founding father of the Indian gold ETF market. Now head of ETFs at the Nippon India Mutual Fund, Jain explains why interest in gold ETFs has soared in India recently and assesses prospects for the market.
Gold benefits from diverse sources of demand: as an investment, a reserve asset, a luxury good and a technology component. It is highly liquid, no one’s liability, carries no credit risk, and is scarce, historically preserving its value over time.
The global bullion banking industry is large and well-established with annual revenues estimated at more than US$1.5bn. The market includes both international banks and smaller local players.
India, a nation that accounts for around a fifth of annual global gold demand, has a long history of gold-focused policies. These, however, have often distorted the market rather than achieving policymakers’ aims. Announcements in the Union Budget on 1 February 2018, however, suggest this might change.
With an annual demand of approximately 800-900 tonnes, the size of the Indian gold market is second only to that of China. Despite its significant size and important global position, the Indian gold market is unable to realise its potential due to multiple challenges.