Mumbai: Both the precious metals, gold and silver witnessed a free-fall and lost more than four percent this week on the back of heavy profit-taking and sliding demand amid extreme global volatility.
The yellow-metal plunged sharply and closed below the psychological Rs 27,000 per 10 gm mark following aggressive selling by stockists and investors as well as lack of local buying interest at low levels.
Despite a sharp price correction, the shiny metal failed to gain momentum on the occasion of Akshaya Tritiya, the biggest gold buying festival and the ongoing wedding season as retail consumers sidelined on expectations of further steep fall in metal prices.
Moreover, the central bank decision to restrict gold imports on a consignment basis except to meet genuine demand from jewellery exporters after the country's trade deficit widened to an alarming USD 17.8 billion in April, dampening overall sentiment.
The industrial metal, silver also tanked below the important Rs 44,000 per kg level to finish at a 27-month low on frantic speculative unwinding amid sluggish industrial demand.
Globally, the shiny-metal continued its uninterrupted steak of beating and crashed below the key USD 1,400 an ounce support level on strong dollar valuation buoyed by highly positive US macroeconomic data and rallying equity markets coupled with heightened speculation over Federal Reserve's early exit from stimulus programme.
Moving in line with the general trend, silver also encountered heavy selling pressure.
In New York, gold for June delivery tanked to USD 1,364.70 an ounce from USD 1,436.60 last weekend. Silver for July contract dropped to USD 22.35 an ounce as compared to USD 23.66.
In domestic market: Standard gold (99.5 purity) resumed sharply lower at Rs 27,045 and slumped further to finish at Rs 26,120 from preceding weekend's level of 27,375, showing a steep fall of Rs 1,255, or 4.58 percent per 10 grams.
Pure gold (99.9 purity) commenced sluggish at Rs 27,180 and drifted further to close Rs 26,255 from its last weekend's level of Rs 27,500, revealing a sharp slide of Rs 1,245, or 4.52 percent per 10 grams.
Silver ready (.999 fineness) opened slightly better at Rs 45,800 and fluctuated widely between a high of Rs 45,915 and a low of Rs 43,630 before concluding at Rs 43,800 from previous weekend's level of Rs 45,790, exhibiting a hefty loss of Rs 1,990, or 4.34 percent per kg.