"Physical demand will be very steady as people would like to invest some of their portfolio into gold at these levels," Peter Fung, head of dealing at Wing Fung Precious Metals, said.

Uncertainties including the fallout of the China Evergrande crisis have also spurred safe-haven buying, traders said.

Bernard Sin, regional director for Greater China at MKS said "extraordinary demand" could result in higher September imports.

In Singapore, retail buyers also snapped up silver, while gold premiums were unchanged at $1.20-$1.60 an ounce.

"We're seeing increased demand, both wholesale and retail," Brian Lan, managing director at Singapore dealer GoldSilver, said, adding forthcoming festivals and a reopening of economies could bring more interest.

In India, demand was moderate as prices remained volatile, but dealers hoped sales would improve next week due to the Dussehra festival.

"The sudden rise in prices on Thursday confused buyers. They're awaiting a clear trend," Harshad Ajmera, proprietor of JJ Gold House, a wholesaler in Kolkata, said.

On Friday, local gold futures traded around 46,260 rupees per 10 grams, rising from a near six-month low of 45,479 rupees on Thursday.

Premiums rose to $4 an ounce over official prices, inclusive of 10.75 per cent import and 3 per cent sales levies, from $3 last week.

Bangladesh, meanwhile, cut prices for all types of gold prices in line with a dip in global rates, the country's Jewellers' Association said, with the best quality gold priced at 71,966 taka ($23.01) per Bhori, or 11.664 grams.

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