Gold rush underway in UAE
DUBAI—Starting Friday afternoon, jewellery stores in the UAE and other Gulf markets recorded a marked increase in footfall as shoppers tried to stay one step ahead of further increases in gold prices.
The higher footfall has obviously translated into more purchases, with some of the bigger retail chains averaging Dh3,000-Dh4,000 a transaction.
But volumes on a per gram basis did not move up appreciably because of the higher price per gram. On Friday, 22k in Dubai was quoted at Dh150.446 an ounce against the previous day’s Dh143.672. According to local retailers, there is enough bullion available to meet demands, even an increased appetite, among regional shoppers.
Friday’s spike set off by the shock over the UK referendum results prompted many jewellery shoppers especially those from India — to bring forward their purchases ahead of the vacations back home. What is ironic about the current situation is that consumer demand has spiked when gold jumped itself back into the $1,300 (Dh4,771) plus an ounce range, when it had previously seen tepid sales at $1,200$1,250.
Local gold sales could have put in higher volumes if it were not for the fact that many prospective consumers decided to become foreign currency speculators by buying a weakened pound on Friday and Saturday. There was a rush to the currency houses to snap up pounds where possible as a herd mentality took hold.—Agencies