RANGOON — After hitting a record high last month, gold prices have continued to rise to their highest point ever due to increasing global gold prices, industry sources say.
The local price for one tical, a traditional Burmese weight measurement equal to 16.33 grams (just over a half ounce), jumped to almost 840,000 kyats (US$685) this week, up from last month’s 812,000 kyat peak.
The price has been pushed up by global prices and influenced by Britain’s exit from the European Union (EU) last month. Gold dealers said this is the highest price on record since the country opened its economy to external trade in 1988.
“Today’s local price is a record, and the global gold price is only going to increase in the coming days. Gold shop owners are seeing decreased sales, but there are many sellers coming here and trying to profit on goods they bought for a lower price,” said Kyaw Win, secretary of the Myanmar Gold Entrepreneurs Association.
On July 8, the global gold price reached US$1,363 per ounce, up from $1,300 last month.
“The local gold market is indirectly affected by matters in the EU, but I don’t think the price will go down again right away. There is the potential for it to go even higher seeing that the actual Brexit has a long way to go still,” Kyaw Win said.
“People are selling their gold and saving money or investing in the US dollar, as this is not a good time to invest in property,” he said.
Because the US dollar exchange rate has stabilized around 1170 kyats per dollar, investors are hoping to profit by shifting their investments from gold to dollars, Kyaw Win said.
It is a good time for people who have hoarded gold to cash out in the market, said U Maw, owner of Aung Thamadi goldsmith in Mandalay. “Many gold shops are now buying gold from their customers. Trading has reversed.”