KOLKATA: With gold prices soaring in the backdrop of Russia declaring war on Ukraine, wedding-season buying in the city is witnessing a muted response.
Jewellers in the city feel that buyers will wait and watch before they start ordering for the weddings. In the past, too, conflicts have led to volatility in stock and gold, with the former taking a nosedive and the latter firming up. It had happened during Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990; during the September 11, 2001, attack on the US; and later, when the US retaliated in Afghanistan and Iraq.

In the past 20 days, gold prices have increased by more than Rs 2,500 per 10g (bhari) or Rs 250 for a gram. On multiple days, gold prices have increased thrice in a day, prompting the jewellers in the city to tweak the prices accordingly. Gold prices continued to rally on safe-haven buying only to soften marginally on Saturday. The jewellers felt gold prices might increase further as investors will get more interested in it.
“There has been a substantial increase in the past couple of days, although we are trying to absorb a part of the increase and not pass it on to the customers. The wedding season is on and buyers are jittery about ordering jewellery right at this moment,” said Rupak Saha, zonal member of Gem and Jewellery Trade Council of India. “For example, if the prices were high by nearly Rs 1,400 per 10g, many of the jewellers tried to keep that at Rs 1,100 per bhari,” Saha said.
According to Anargha Uttiyo Chowdhury, director of Anjali Jewellers, the Russia-Ukraine conflict has once again proved that gold is a safe haven as the prices have gone up while stocks fell. “Gold buying hasn’t been affected much as we have seen customers purchasing according to their requirements.”
City jewellers feel that most of the orders they are catering to at present had been placed well in advance and do not reflect the change in gold prices. However, new orders for the upcoming wedding season till Baisakh is witnessing a muted response.
“We think the conflict will get settled soon and the world market will go back to normalcy. The responses may be muted at present, but the Indian market will accept the pricing soon. Import of the yellow meal has increased in the country and we are hopeful that gold will rally further till Dhanteras this year,” said Prakash Pincha, regional chairman of Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council.
Ratan Lal Agarwal, director of RR Agarwal Jewellers, said that in the past 10 days, gold prices have been very unstable. “Prices have gone up by more than Rs 2,500 per 10g, and have come down again. This happens whenever there is a war-like situation. But, overall, the market seems to be bullish,” he said.

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