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* India back at $1 premium vs $1.50 discount last week
* Premiums rise in China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan
* Benchmark spot gold on track for worst week since May 2017
By Rajendra Jadhav and Sumita Layek
MUMBAI/BENGALURU, Aug 17 (Reuters) - Physical gold demand in India regained momentum this week as jewellers stocked up after prices dipped to their lowest in over seven months, with lower prices attracting fresh buying and driving premiums higher in other major Asian hubs as well.
Dealers in India, the second biggest gold consumer after China, were charging a premium of up to $1 an ounce, compared with a discount of $1.5 last week, as prices fell to their lowest since Jan. 10, at 29,268 rupees, earlier on Friday.
Jewellery demand was robust during the India International Jewellery Show, said Colin Shah, vice chairman of Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council.
The expo took place between Aug. 9 and Aug. 13 in Mumbai.
Jewellers are again becoming active in the market due to the price correction and good sales at the exhibition, said a Mumbai-based dealer with a private bank.
India’s gold imports rose for the first time in seven months in July to 75 tonnes, provisional data from metals consultancy GFMS showed.
“In August, imports will rise like July. Prices are very attractive for jewellers to build stocks,” the bank dealer in Mumbai said.
Meanwhile, global benchmark spot gold prices plunged to as low as $1,159.96 an ounce on Thursday, their lowest since January 2017, and was on track to register its worst week since May 2017.
“It’s a good time to buy,” said Ronald Leung, chief dealer at Lee Cheong Gold Dealers in Hong Kong.
In China, premiums rose to $3 to $5 an ounce this week from last week’s $2-$3, while premiums in Hong-Kong were around 90 cents-$1.50 versus 70 cents to $1.30 previously.
Premiums rose in Singapore as well, with 90 cents-$1.50 an ounce being charged over the benchmark, compared with the 80 cents level last week.
“This week demand has been very good, price is the lowest we have seen this year, so we have seen a lot of buying,” said Brian Lan, managing director at dealer GoldSilver Central in Singapore.
A Tokyo-based trader said demand was very strong in Japan due to lower prices, pushing premiums there up to $1 an ounce, after remaining unchanged at 50 cents for seven weeks. (Reporting by Sumita Layek and Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru and Rajendra Jadhav in Mumbai; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)