WITH the Chinese Year of the Rooster ambling in tomorrow (Jan. 28) the focus is on gold trade because it is customary to give money or gold ornaments in the red ang pao envelops during this festival, Thai News Agency said.
As it is Yaowarat or Chinatown area of Bangkok where the good quality gold shops are located, gold trade is briskest there during the Lunar New Year festival which this year seems to be livelier than last year.
Gold traders here said that gold remains the favorite gift amid an economy which has not shown a clear indication of recovery. Buyers are also spending more carefully and are buying smaller size gold ornaments with half a baht weight being the most popular.
As one might expect, aside from there being plenty of small gold bars embossed with images of roosters because after all the New Lunar Year is the rooster year, various types of ornaments and pendants shaped in the Thai numeral nine are also popular.
A new type of gold ornament is available this year with this being gold laser pendants embossed with a photo of the buyer’s choice which could be of him or herself, the family or a loving child. This image is scanned on to the gold pendants and it takes just 30 minutes to complete the job.
A quarter baht weight pendant embossed with a photo costs around 5,000 baht and this new crafting technique is popular with teenagers who are increasingly turning to gold.
A gold shop owner said that gold trade this Lunar New Year will be most active tomorrow (Jan. 28) with trading being spurred by gold prices not currently being very high staying in the range of of 20,150-20,200 baht a baht weight.
He forecasts that gold price will be in the range of 19,200-22,000 baht a baht weight the whole of this year with there also being chances of high fluctuation due to various uncertainties such as the new US President Donald Trump’s policies, higher interest rates, and elections in many European countries. These factors are leading to investors turning to gold which is the traditional safe haven.
Top: Gold ingots for sale at a gold shop in Yaowarat. Photo: Thai News Agency
First inset: Gold pendants embossed with various photos: Photo: Thai News Agency
Second inset: Gold pendants shaped as Thai number nine. Photo: Thai News Agency
Below: A gold bar with an image of a rooster embossed on it. Photo: Thai News Agency