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Mar 08, 2021 / 17:01

Vietnam gold market freezes as global prices set to plunge

“Never before have the gold market been such quiet in the first few months of the year,” said a representative of SJC.

While the global gold prices for the first time in months fell below the US$1,700 per ounce, the domestic market of this precious metal came to a standstill as result.

 Customers at Bao Tin - Manh Hai gold store. Photo: Thanh Hai

At the final trading session of last week, selling and buying prices for gold bars quoted by Doji, Vietnam’s largest jewelry company, stood at VND54.95 million (US$2,376) and VND55.5 million (US$2,400) per tael.

Vietnam’s largest gold and gold jewelry production and distribution Saigon Jewelry Company (SJC) listed the gold selling and buying prices at VND55.1-55.5 million (US$2,382-2,400). As a result, domestic gold prices last week were down by VND700,000 (US$30.27) against last week.

Such decline came as the global gold prices fell below the US$1,700-per-ounce-mark to a nine-month low of US$1,695, equivalent to VND47.2 million (US$2,041) per tael [a tael is 37.5 grams or 1.2 ounces].

Chief Currency Analyst at HYCM Giles Coghlan attributed the Covid-19 vaccine roll out to the trend of  selling out gold at the moment.

Meanwhile, the fact that a hike in prices of Bitcoin (surpassing US$50,000) and crude oil on the global market to nearly US$61 per barrel, has been luring investors into the cryptocurrency and the oil market.

Chief Market Strategist at Blue Line Futures Phillip Streible said if the gold price could not hold on to the US$1,675 per ounce this week, there is a high chance that the price will further go down to the US$1,600 per ounce mark.

Despite a bleak outlook for global gold prices, the domestic price for gold remained high and kept the difference at nearly VND8.2 million (US$354.87) per tael.

Director of the New Partner Jewelry Company Nguyen Ngoc Trong said there were almost no gold-related transactions for the past few days.

“Investors were supposed to sell gold  when the prices remain high, but in fact, this was not the case,” said Trong.

When the domestic gold prices were around VND56-62 million (US$2,422-2,682) per tael, or a difference of up to VND8.5 million (US$367.77) per tael from world prices, people were still buying in gold.

Therefore, at this present, many are suffering losses of around VND5 million (US$216.38) per tael.

Those buying golds at high prices are forced to wait and keep monitoring the market situation, while the risky nature of a big gap between domestic and global prices is keeping new investors from coming in.

“Never before have the gold market been such quiet in the first few months of the year,” said a representative of SJC.

Amid suggestion that the central bank should issue license for importing gold from abroad and thus narrow the price difference from international and domestic markets, experts urged local authorities to be cautious as the market is at a standstill at the moment, not to mention potential impacts to inflation and current exchange rates.