Thursday, January 17th 12:02 PM IST

Japan Gold becomes more expensive on weak yen

# Japan gold  # yen gold  # Pension funds  # Bank of Japan  

Analysts said yen's retreat against the dollar has made the metal more expensive for buyers in Japan while global benchmark prices of gold in dollars are little changed this year.

TOKYO(BullionStreet): Japan continued to slash yen's value against the dollar which hiked gold prices to new highs in the Nippon nation.

According to major gold dealers in Tokyo, some gold holders may be preparing to cash out of some bullion due to the situation.

Japanese gold prices jumped 4.2% since the start of the year and about 10% since late November after authorities sparked a slide in the yen by pushing for further monetary easing to boost the sluggish economy.

Analysts said yen's retreat against the dollar has made the metal more expensive for buyers in Japan while global benchmark prices of gold in dollars are little changed this year.

Japan's benchmark Tokyo Commodity Exchange yen-denominated gold contract has outperformed the dollar-denominated gold price that is used in the international market.

In the past, the race to sell gold has gotten intense at times; investors formed queues outside jewelers in downtown Tokyo five years ago and again in September 2011, when gold prices hit peaks, though that hasn't yet happened this time around.

Japan's investors don't have the same voracious appetite for gold as those in China and India, which are the world's top two gold buyers.

As such, changes in Japanese buying or selling patterns are unlikely to become major drivers for international gold prices.

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