Industry insiders forecast gold prices to rise by 3% to VND70 million (US$2,980.6) per tael to catch up with global rates, which surged during Tet when Vietnamese markets closed.
The state-owned Saigon Jewelry Company sold its SJC gold at VND68.2 million per tael of 37.5 grams or 1.2 ounces on Friday morning, up 0.44% from January 19, the last day of trading before the Lunar New Year holidays began.
Gold rings were sold at VND56.2 million per tael, up 1.26%.
Spot gold rose 0.1% to $1,931.95 per ounce in early Asian trade on Friday, as traders awaited U.S. inflation data due later in the day to gauge the Federal Reserve’s rate-hike stance, Reuters reported.
Tran Thanh Hai, chairman of SJC Phu Tho, said global rates have been surging since last week, and so shops in Vietnam might hike their price to VND69 million Friday.
Prices could even go up to VND70 million, the highest since May last year, if global rates continue to go up, he added.
“Over the holidays global gold prices went up to nearly $1,950 per ounce, a nine-month high, and so Vietnamese prices will adjust accordingly.”
Another reason for the prices to rise could be the God of Wealth Day that falls on Tuesday during which people often buy gold in the hope they would have luck for the year, Hai said.
Gold is still a safe haven asset for many Vietnamese.
A recent survey by Standard Chartered Bank found 57% of Vietnamese respondents saying they would invest in gold this year to cope with inflation.
The owner of a gold shop in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 8 expected a surge in demand will push up gold prices starting Friday.
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