Tracking record global prices, gold today soared by Rs 320 per ten grams to fresh life-time high of of Rs 32,300 in the national capital, amid rising local demand ahead of the marriage and festival season.
Rallying for the third consecutive day, gold prices crossed the Rs 32,000-level in New Delhi. In Mumbai, rates jumped Rs 220 at Rs 31,700. In other metros, gold gained in the Rs 175-275 range with prices in Kolkata reaching Rs 32,175.00 while the rates stood at Rs 31,960 in Chennai.
In last three days, gold in New Delhi has become costlier by Rs 690, while it gained Rs 1,555 in last two weeks.
Market participants attributed the sharp rise in the gold prices to firming global rates as dollar weakened.
Global prices today rose one per cent to 1,709.90 dollar an ounce in London, matching a level last seen on March 13.
"The sharp rise in domestic gold prices was mainly due to robust global market, where prices have risen from USD 1500 an ounce to USD 1700 an ounce in just 15 days on hopes that the US and Europe may inject liquidity in the market," SMC Comtrade Chairman and Managing Director D K Aggarwal said.
The European Central Bank (ECB) is meeting today and may consider fresh bond purchases to ease the Eurozone's debt crisis, he said, adding the rally in global prices was also in response to the minutes of US' Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) last meeting suggesting the need for more stimulus.
Meanwhile in futures markets, gold today hit new record high of Rs 32,758 per 10 grams.
Bombay Bullion Association President Prithiviraj Kothari said: "The rally in domestic prices was purely linked to global development".
He said the domestic demand for the precious metal is sluggish at such high prices, though there is buying in small quantity ahead of marriage and festival season.
Kothari expected that gold demand would fall sharply this month to 35-40 tonnes against 70 tonnes in the same month last year because of high prices.
"Gold is on upward march and likely to touch new peaks in the coming days for festivals...," All India Sarafa Association General Secretary Surender Jain said, adding that a firming global trend and weaker rupee will make imports of the precious metal costlier.
Gold of 99.9 and 99.5 per cent purity spurted by Rs 320 each to Rs 32,300 and Rs 32,100 per 10 grams, respectively.
Sovereigns followed suit and shot