The price of local gold on January 24 rebounded by 0.8 percent to 35.25 million VND (1,676 USD) per tael, driven by an improvement in global gold prices.

The global prices improved as weak equity markets burnished the precious metal's safe-haven appeal.

Back home, SJC gold gained 300,000 VND per tael (14.3 USD) to end at 35.1-35.25 million VND (1,671-1,676 USD), its highest closing price in six days. One tael is equivalent to 1.2 ounces.

Since the beginning of this year, the local price has hovered around 35 million VND (1,666 USD) per tael in quiet trading sessions. In addition, retailers kept narrowing the gap between buying/selling quotes to encourage gold purchases.

On a commodities-tracking website, the price of gold was around 1,257.90 USD per ounce, nearing its highest level in seven weeks. Reuters news agency reported that gold's move in the previous session was initially prompted by falling equities and news from India, a leading consumer of gold, where the leader of the country's ruling party asked the government to review its tough import restrictions on gold.

Local gold prices plunged 28 percent in 2013, ending a 12-year bull run and tarnishing the metal's appeal as a hedge against inflation. The fall in local gold prices was partly due to the State Bank of Vietnam's actions, which included gold auctions.

The central bank sold 1.82 million taels (69.9 tonnes) of gold bars through 76 auctions in 2013. The attempt was to cut local gold prices to 34.6-34.7 million VND (1,647-1,652 USD) per tael by the end of 2013, down 12 million VND (571 USD) per tael, or 24 percent lower from 2012's level.

Some of the auctioned gold went to credit institutions to help them close their outstanding gold deposits. Another portion of the auctioned gold went to gold firms, which sought to meet market demand.

The central bank plans to continue conducting the gold auctions this year in an attempt to stabilise the domestic market and address the imbalance between supply and demand.-VNA