SHARJAH / EMIRATES BUSINESS
A renewed safe-haven demand, and the ensuing improvement in consumer sentiment towards gold, is attracting more quality visitors to an ongoing jewellery fair in Sharjah.
The 40th MidEast Watch & Jewellery Show, which got under way at Expo Centre Sharjah on April 5 and continues until April 9, is seen by jewellers as a key platform that could spur sales after a lacklustre first quarter. Gold, which is currently trading near US$1,230 per ounce, have risen an impressive 16.5% during the first quarter, its biggest quarterly gain since 1986.
â€œMore importantly, indications that gold prices have possibly bottomed out came in December last year. They are currently seen rising, putting to rest concerns of consumers and investors that they are buying into or holding onto something that is consistently losing its value. Besides, the safe haven aspect has become more relevant now, and is triggering a buying spree during the show,â€ said Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Owais, Chairman, Sharjah Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Expo Centre Sharjah.
Jewellers point out that gold prices at US$1,230 are very reasonable and this level could be sustained through the second quarter. They say this is a positive change since gold sales were affected in the last quarter of the past year and for the most part of the first quarter of this year amid forecasts that gold prices may fall below US$1,000.
â€œGoing by the visitor turnout and buying patterns we can surely say that gold has regained its allure among both general consumers and investors. And the icing on the cake has come in the form of the 40th MidEast Watch & Jewellery Show celebrations and the chance to indulge in largest and the finest gold and diamond jewellery showcase in the region,â€ said Saif Mohammed Al Midfa, CEO, Expo Centre Sharjah.
Analysts say a slew of factors have driven gold prices up in the past few months, right from concerns about world markets to oil prices and political tensions. Gold has also benefited from increased scepticism over the waning power of global central banks to prop up their economies and negative interest rates in Europe and Japan.
The show is open to visitors from 12 noon to 10 pm daily, and from 4 pm to 10 pm on Friday (April 8). Exclusive timings for ladies are on Wednesday from 12 noon to 4pm. Entry and parking are free.