The rupee on Monday ended 18 paise higher at 69.77 per dollar but clocked a 9% fall during the year in one of the tumultuous years in the recent past. Traders also said that shifting of funds towards the rising equity market was another factor for decline in the gold prices.
Silver coins were, however, unchanged at Rs 76,000 for buying and Rs 77,000 for selling of 100 pieces.
Gold prices ended the 2018 on a weaker note when they plunged by Rs 370 to Rs 32,270 per 10 gram at the bullion market. Traders attributed the fall in gold prices to muted demand from local jewellers. They also said that higher prices hurt domestic gold demand. Tracking gold, silver prices dropped Rs 125 to Rs 39,100 per kg on subdued fag-end demand from industrial units and coin makers. A stronger rupee also put pressure on domestic gold prices as imports become cheaper.
In Delhi, prices of gold of 99.9% and 99.5% purity on Monday fell by Rs 370 each to Rs 32,270 and Rs 32,120 per 10 gram, respectively. Sovereign gold on Monday held steady at Rs 25,200 per piece of 8 gram. Silver ready also fell by Rs 125 to Rs 39,100 per kg, while weekly-based delivery was marginally down by Rs 6 to Rs 38,700 per kg.
For the year, the gold prices in India jumped by Rs 1,870, or 6.15%, as compared with the price of Rs 30,400 per 10 gram on December 30, 2017, primarily driven by a fall in rupee’s value against the US dollar. Silver, on the other hand, lost Rs 880, or 2.2%, against Rs 39,980 per kg as on December 30, 2017.