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BENGALURU/MUMBAI: Physical gold dealers offered bigger discounts in India this week to lure buyers as the wedding season concluded, while some consumers in China bought bullion to hedge against growing economic concerns. Weddings are one of the biggest drivers of gold purchases in India. "Footfalls at jewellery stores are far lower than the last month. Retail buying is tepid since wedding season is over," said Mukesh Kothari, director at dealer RiddiSiddhi Bullions in Mumbai. Discounts of about $8 an ounce were quoted over official domestic prices — inclusive of 10.75% import and 3% sales levies — compared with last week's $6 discounts.

Buying from dealers and jewellers was also weak as retail demand could remain subdued for the next few weeks, said a Mumbai-based dealer with a private bullion importing bank. In China, gold changed hands at anywhere between on par with global benchmark spot prices to $2-$3 an ounce premiums.

While Shanghai trading volumes were relatively muted, people still like to buy some gold as a safe-haven investment, especially amid inflation and geopolitical issues, said Peter Fung, head of dealing at Wing Fung Precious Metals.

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