As a result, retail demand was quite weak across the country for the last few days as prices were going up, said a Mumbai-based bullion dealer with a private bank.

Dealers charged premiums of up to $2 an ounce over official domestic prices — inclusive of 10.75 per cent import and 3 per cent sales levies — unchanged from last week.

"Festival season is approaching. Jewellers could start purchases if prices remain stable for the next few days" said another Mumbai-based bullion dealer.

In China, premiums narrowed slightly to $1-$5 an ounce over global benchmark spot prices, compared with last week's $3-$6 premiums.

"Demand in China remains moderate as customers wait for prices to come down," said Peter Fung, head of dealing at Wing Fung Precious Metals.

In Hong Kong, premiums of $0.80-$1.80 were charged as rising Covid-19 cases and resultant lockdowns hurt jewellery demand.

In Singapore, premiums ranged from $1 to $1.50 per ounce, and according to Brian Lan, managing director at dealer GoldSilver Central, customers took advantage of higher prices to sell more gold.

In Japan, gold premiums stayed in a $0.25-$0.50 range, Tokyo-based traders said.

Meanwhile, the Bangladesh Jewellers Association raised local rates of all types of gold, citing gains in international markets, with the best quality gold priced at 73,483 taka ($864.71) per Bhori, or 11.664 grams.

There was also a supply shortage in local markets as imports were being hampered by tax-related complexities and a shutdown of international flights.

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