Fewer buy gold on God of Wealth Day due to virus fears hinh anh 1Bao Tin Minh Chau Shop on Tran Nhan Tong Street prepares chairs for customers. However, this year, few have lined up to buy gold. (Photo: cafef)

Hanoi (VNA)
– This year’s God of Wealth Day (February 3) saw fewer gold buyers than previous years due to fears of new coronavirus (nCoV).

According to the legend, the God of Wealth returned to heaven on the 10th day of the first lunar month, so people traditionally buy some gold on that day to ensure good luck and prosperity throughout the year. In recent years, people have been queuing up from 3 to 4 am to buy ‘lucky’ gold.

Together with ordinary gold items, products for sale include charm bracelets made of 24k and 18k gold. Items in the shape of animals also prove popular.

Duong Anh Tuan, Deputy General Director of DOJI, said that in preparation for the day, his firm has prepared 280,000 kinds of products, an increase of 30 percent over ordinary days.

However, the current concern of coronavirus as well as higher gold prices have caused gold shops and businesses to see fewer customers.

Together with other gold shops in Hanoi, DOJI has also provided free masks and hand sanitiser for their customers.

However, instead of lining up to buy gold like previous years, only few customers were seen at the local gold shops in Tran Nhan Tong street, known as gold street in Hanoi.

Nguyen Ngoc Ha, a gold retailer on Hoang Hoa Tham street said on February 3 that “I saw more customers yesterday than today. And they all bought the products much quicker than usual.”

Ha said: "It will be harder to sell these special products after the occasion. The situation is terrible."

On the morning of February 3, gold prices in the city hit nearly 45 million VND (1,945 USD) per tael (as much as 1.2 ounces of gold), up 7.5 million VND per tael compared to the God of Wealth Day in 2019.

In the afternoon, it declined more than 500,000 VND per tael at big businesses like SJC, DOJI and Bao Tin Minh Chau, as global gold prices dipped after hitting a near four-week high after China’s central bank cut reverse repo rates and injected liquidity into markets to help support an economy hit by the coronavirus outbreak./.