MUMBAI (Reuters) - Gold traders in India, the world's biggest buyer of the metal, refrained from fresh purchases as prices jumped to hit their highest level in more than two weeks.
Gold imports into India declined about 81 percent on month to 31.5 tonnes in June after the government raised import duty and stopped consignment imports, but demand could rise in coming months, creating problems for a government battling a record high trade deficit.
"The market is quiet, no one is interested to buy at these levels. We are not able to sell even a kg of gold," said Harshad Ajmera, proprietor of wholesaler JJ Gold House in Kolkata.
The actively traded gold contract for August delivery on the Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) was 2.43 percent higher at 26,737 rupees per 10 grams, after hitting a high of 26,858 rupees, a level last seen on June 24, in line with global markets and a weaker rupee.
Global gold jumped to its highest level in more than two weeks after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the U.S. central bank would continue its accommodative monetary policy for now to support the economy.
The rupee, which weakened but stayed below 60 rupees mark, plays an important role in determining the landed cost of the dollar-quoted yellow metal.
Silver contract for September delivery on the MCX was 3.8 percent higher at 41,700 rupees per kg.
The following were the prices of gold and silver in rupees as of 1315 local time in the spot market, quoted by HDFC Bank:
(Reporting by Siddesh Mayenkar; Editing by Anand Basu)