Gold hits new high at Rs29,295 on marriage season demand

Trading sentiments bolstered on heavy purchases for the ongoing marriage season and investor shifting their funds from weakening stocks to rising bullion. The uptrend was further supported by firming global trend on a decline in the dollar as the appointment of new governments in Greece and Italy boosted demand for the metal as an alternative asset

New Delhi; Gold in India touched a new all-time high level on Monday, rising by Rs30 to Rs29,295 per 10 grams, driven by sustained buying by stockists and jewellers to meet the demand for the ongoing marriage season, amid a firming global trend, reports PTI.

The precious metal had touched a high of Rs29,140 on 9th November.

Silver followed suit and gained Rs150 to Rs58,000 per kg on increased offtake by industrial units and jewellery makers.

Trading sentiments bolstered on heavy purchases by stockists and retailers for the ongoing marriage season and investor shifting their funds from weakening stocks to rising bullion.

The uptrend was further supported by firming global trend after gold advanced as a decline in the dollar after the appointment of new governments in Greece and Italy boosted demand for the metal as an alternative asset.

Gold in global markets, which normally set price trend on the domestic front, gained 0.4% to $1,796.27 an ounce in Singapore.

On the domestic front, gold of 99.9% and 99.5% purity added another Rs30 each to Rs29,295 and Rs29,155 per 10 grams, respectively, a level never seen before. However, sovereigns held steady at Rs23,300 per piece of eight grams in limited deals.

In line with a general firming trend, silver ready rose by Rs150 to Rs58,000 per kg and weekly-based delivery by Rs245 to Rs57,995 per kg. Silver coins met with resistance at existing higher level and lost Rs2,000 to Rs65,000 for buying and Rs66,000 for selling of 100 pieces.

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Euro crisis impacting growth, to hurt exports: FM

Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said that while India’s export sector has performed well so far this year, the tendency of some developed countries to resort to protectionist measures in the face of downturn of their economies would have a bearing on the country’s exports

New Delhi: Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Monday said the euro zone crisis is impacting the country's growth and will hurt exports in coming months, reports PTI.

“The recent development in the Eurozone has heightened uncertainty in financial markets. India’s short-term growth prospects have been adversely impacted,” he said while inaugurating the India International Trade Fair here.

The minister further said the tendency of certain developed countries to adopt protectionist measures during a downturn would have a bearing on India’s exports, which have reported impressive growth so far this year.

“India's export sector has performed well this year. I must add that the tendency of some developed countries to resort to protectionist measures in the face of downturn of their economy is a matter of grave concern, not only to our exports, but also to the recovery of the world as a whole,” he said.

“If the Eurozone crisis prolongs, growth in exports will be impacted,” he added.

Industrial production slipped to a two-year low of 1.9% in September. Overall economic growth in the first quarter of the fiscal stood at 7.7%, the lowest rate experienced in 18 months.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), India's central banking system, has already revised its growth projection for 2011-12 downward to 7.6% from 8.5% in the previous fiscal, mainly on account of the global economic slowdown and stubborn domestic inflation.

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Is travel by air worth it?

Despite media hype, air fares have not shot up if you book in advance. In any case, travelling by air has become extremely expensive, when you factor in all the add-on costs, as compared to when you travel by train.

Here's a simple truth – in spite of all the media hype about rampant increases in air-fares, the fact remains that the air fares on major trunk routes (like Delhi - Mumbai (Rs5-6k), Mumbai - Bangalore (Rs4-5k) and Delhi - Bangalore (Rs6-7k)) for flights over the next week or so, are actually at almost the same levels as they were a few weeks ago. That's when you buy off the internet. Head for the small hole-in-the-wall travel agencies that seem to abound near airports and railway stations, and unless you are totally naive, you will lop off some from these prices too.
 
As a simple matter of fact, a family member flew Delhi - Bangalore yesterday on a ticket bought a few months ago for a shade under Rs4, 000, and found that the aircraft was almost one-third empty. More interestingly, in the interests of research, I got there early, and from one of those small agencies just outside T1 at Delhi's IGI Airport, was assured that I could even now get a ticket on the same flight for Rs4,300. This is not somebody who will take the money and run. He came with a reference, and has been in business there for years.
 
It is not as though people have stopped travelling. But they are using other means. The trains continue to go full. Nor can one blame over-capacity alone on air-routes within India - though that certainly is one of the reasons. Non stop point-to-point trains on some routes have no doubt taken away much business. The success of Duronto Express trains is now an established fact on most routes. Further, overnight trains provide a tangible saving on fare as well as hotel costs.
 
The main reason is that travelling by air has become extremely expensive, when you factor in all the add-on costs, as compared to when you travel by train - from local transport to/from airports, price gouging in the name of "user development fees", to the cost of basic food at airports or onboard to the charges for excess baggage. The cost of time, the strict security regulations and especially, the surly attitudes one is at the receiving end of from staff members are also to be considered.
 
Kingfisher Airlines seems to be getting most of the attention lately, but the other airlines are almost equally relevant. This needs to be viewed as a much overdue correction. Expecting all the agencies involved to come together and address the situation appears to be close to impossible. How does one justify, for example, the fact that an airport operator like GMR happily spends hundreds of crores to sponsor a cricket team for the IPL? But GMR does not provide free drinking water to people waiting outside its terminals.

Air travel has not been a luxury product for the average air-traveller for some time now. For that, the private non-scheduled operators are present for those who want it. It is about time, this simple fact was recognised by the authorities, and acted upon. There is a social need, which has to be fulfilled. It is being ignored, as everybody in the industry reaches out and talks only about increasing fares. Nothing is being done to cut down on wastage.

The present shake-out, therefore, is going to be good. Shared infrastructure at airports like maintenance and repair facilities, buses and ladders, better intermodal connectivity, doing away with UDF (User Development Fee - Airport Tax), and most of all, bringing the smile back on the faces of those who are on the frontlines, is what is needed.

Otherwise, higher airfares alone are not going to cut it, especially in the present economic scenario. People are going to continue to travel - but not by air.

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COMMENTS

mk

6 years ago

eveybody cant plan ahead for various reasons. indian cos. ape other countries/west for what suits them. not lots that needs to be aped for customers' sake!

lousy indian attitude getting worse by decades!

S H Subrahmanian

6 years ago

Dear Veeresh Malik abd Friends,
I have found a better alternative now.
http://www.via.com helps you to have "air travel" assured with Rail AC 2 Tier WAIT LISTED! Just register, give your PNR No and for a charge of Rs 499 you get Air travel in comfort. Much cheaper.
I have tried once. Kindly try if convinced

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