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World gold retreats from 4-month high as Russia ends drill

Gold fell 0.8 per cent to $1,339.25 an ounce. It had reached $1,354.87 on Monday, the highest since October 30.

Silver too fell 0.6 per cent to USD 21.29 an ounce. Bullion rose 2.1 per cent on Monday as Ukraine said Russia ordered Ukrainian warships in Crimea to surrender. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin ordered troops to return to bases, Interfax said, citing the president’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
Gold gained 11 per cent this year, rebounding from the biggest annual decline since 1981, as signs of slowing economic growth increased demand.

US data on Monday showed that manufacturing and consumer spending beat analysts’ estimates after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said last week the central bank is ‘open to reconsidering’ the pace of stimulus cutbacks should the economy weaken.

Meanwhile, bullion dealers and retail jewellers across India are planning to go on a one-day strike on March 10 demanding easing in gold import curbs. To contain the widening trade deficit, the Government has hiked import duty on gold to 10 per cent to discourage imports of the precious metal, while made it mandatory to re-export 20 per cent of imported gold.

‘We are planning to go on a strike on March 10 as current restrictions on gold imports have affected our business badly,’ India Bullion and Jewellers Association (IBJA) Vice President Prithviraj Kothari said. ‘Over-restrictions’ on gold imports have created domestic shortage and there is also increased rate of unemployment in the industry, he said, adding that most jewellers are downsizing their business during this tough time.

‘Since the current account deficit has narrowed down, there is an urgent need to relax some restrictions on gold imports to protect interest of labour-intensive jewellery industry,’ Kothari said. In January Finance Minister P Chidambaram said gold imports curbs would be reviewed by March end.
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