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Stores packed with gold traders as prices swing

Over 30 people could be seen at 2:45 p.m. at a Saigon Jewelry Company (SJC) store in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, all making gold transactions.

“I expect to sell at VND74 million per tael ($3,049.67) but due to fear of a decline I sold it at VND73 million,” said a person who just sold three taels. A tael equals 37.5 grams or 1.2 ounces.

As of 3:15 p.m. staff were still busy with gold transactions.

A store of Mi Hong gold and jewelry chain in Binh Thanh District also saw many customers Friday afternoon. Some even traded 20 taels, or VND1.46 billion in value.

“The store is still busy but there are less customers than three days ago when prices hit a record high,” an employee said, adding that many bought at that peak level with expectations of further increases.

Vietnam gold bar prices have been posting strong changes this week. After reaching a new height of VND80.3 million on Tuesday, gold has now slipped to around VND76 million Friday afternoon.

But as prices vary greatly within a day, many people struggled to make decisions.

A woman in HCMC in the morning wanted to sell at VND74 million but could not make it in time before the lunch break. When she returned in the afternoon, prices had fallen to VND72 million.

She decided to wait at the store for prices to go up again.

“Prices change every hour. It is like gambling,” she said.

In Hanoi, many sold their gold bars early morning at stores on Tran Nhan Tong Street in Hai Ba Trung District due to fear that prices would drop after Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh ordered authorities to narrow the gap between domestic and global rates.

The Vietnam gold price is now around 30% higher than the global rate.

Others, however, are seeking to buy more gold as a safe-haven asset.

“Deposit interest rates are too low. There is nothing as secure as gold in the long run,” said Hung, a buyer.

Analysts have said that Vietnam’s gold supply has remained mostly unchanged for years while demand continued to rise, and this has made gold prices increase.

The State Bank of Vietnam said that recent fluctuations in gold prices were mostly caused by investor sentiment as global gold prices surged.


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