Gold prices in India, the world's biggest buyer of bullion, nudged down on Thursday mirroring global prices and as the rupee regained some poise against the dollar, but dealers expect local prices to remain firm given the wedding season.
At 2:14 p.m., the most active gold for December delivery on the Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) was down 0.36 percent at 31,632 rupees per 10 grams, after hitting a high of 31,742 rupees.
The rupee, which recovered from the day's low of 55.08 on greenback sales from foreign banks after two consecutive market holidays, plays an important role in determining the landed cost of the dollar-quoted yellow metal.
"Gold has edged lower today mainly because the rupee has come off the day's low," said Harshad Ajmera, the proprietor of JJ Gold House, a wholesaler in Kolkata.
"I expect local prices to top 32,000 rupees by end-December," Ajmera said, citing brisk demand.
Indian markets were closed for Diwali, the festival of lights, on Tuesday and for another local festival on Wednesday. The beginning of the week marked Dhanteras, India's largest gold buying festival.
The wedding season is underway in India and will taper off in December.
Overseas gold slipped on Thursday as share prices fell, but tensions in the Middle East and worries about the U.S. "fiscal cliff" are expected to boost the metal's safe-haven appeal and spur buying from investors.
Silver also moved lower, tracking gold prices.
Silver for December delivery on the MCX was down 0.48 percent at 61,074 rupees per kg.