India gold steady; traders still at bay

March 23 - India gold futures were steady on Wednesday afternoon in step with overseas markets, and traders eyed a steady rupee for direction, with demand staying weak in the physical demand in the middle of the wedding season, dealers said.

"There are no buyers in the market as they are getting a discount of 5,000 rupees per kg to the bank rate in the local market," said a dealer with a state-run bullion importing bank.


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The most-active gold for April delivery on the Multi Commodity Exchange was trading 0.20 percent higher at 20,949 rupees per 10 grams at 2:48 p.m. Prices are still down from the record high of 21,274 rupees struck earlier in the month.

Overseas gold prices steadied, as escalating unrest in the Middle East and North Africa underpinned safe-haven demand, but a modest rebound in the dollar weighed and fears on Japan's nuclear crisis eased.

The Indian rupee was little changed as local shares turned positive and helped offset the impact of euro's loss against the dollar and weak regional currencies.

Wedding season is underway in India, the world's biggest gold consumer, when demand for bullion goes up. India's gold imports in Oct-Dec rose 30 percent to 265 tonnes.

(Reporting by Siddesh Mayenkar; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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