Gold prices in India continued to be weak for the third day in a row. On MCX, gold futures dipped (gold price today) 0.02% to ₹49,131 per 10 gram despite positive global cues. In the previous session, gold had slipped 0.5% while silver had dropped 0.9%. Silver futures on MCX today however rose 0.4% to ₹66,885 per kg. Hopes of big US fiscal measures continue to support gold prices on the downside, says Geojit Financial. MCX gold futures price of ₹49,800 need to be challenged for a major buying move, it added.


In global markets, gold prices edged higher on optimism that US lawmakers will soon pass the massive (gold price today)  economic stimulus to revive the world's largest economy. Spot gold rose 0.3% to $1,858.57 per ounce after dropping 0.9% in the previous session. Gold is considered a hedge against inflation and currency debasement, likely from widespread stimulus.

 Meanwhile, holdings of the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund or gold ETF, SPDR Gold Trust, eased 0.07% to 1,173.25 tonnes on Friday. Among other precious metals, silver today gained  (gold price today) 0.9% to $25.61 an ounce while platinum rose 0.6% to $1,105.06.

On gold traders watch this week will be the announcement of US Federal Reserve's monetary policy committee's decision and briefing by Chair Jerome Powell, both scheduled for Wednesday. Also, US (gold price today)  fourth-quarter GDP, initial and jobless claims data will be released on Thursday.

Asian equity markets were mostly higher today while S&P 500 futures pointed higher. Investors are (gold price today)  hoping Fed Chair Jerome Powell may reassure that US central bank's $120 billion of monthly bond purchases won’t be tapered any time soon.

Meanwhile, physical gold demand in Asia picked up last week as the approaching Chinese New Year encouraged buyers in China and Singapore. In India, dealers charged a premium of up to $1 a (gold price today) ounce,  (gold price today) up from the previous week's premium of $0.5, over official domestic prices. Gold rates in India include 12.5% import duty and 3% GST levy. Gold rates in India are now down about ₹7,000 from their August highs and dealers hope that the correction in prices and economic recovery will lift demand in India.

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the annual budget on February 1.

"Gold may witness choppy trade as market players await more clarity on policy changes under Biden  (gold price today) administration. But the general bias may be on the upside as expectations of higher US stimulus may keep pressure on US dollar," Kotak Securities said in a note last week.