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VicenzaOro First to signal market outlook for 2010

By Tom Wildhern

January 10, 2010 – VicenzaOro First, the first event on the international jewellery calendar, will signal the global jewellery market outlook for 2010.

Thousands of retail buyers will fly into northeastern Italy from around the world to assess the new collections on offer from exhibitors at the first of the three annual Vicenza jewellery trade fairs.

Many jewellery professionals believe that VicenzaOro First, which takes place from January 16 to 21 this year, is the most important of the three Vicenza events, as it showcases the key design trends and gauges the mood in the industry for the year ahead.

Here are some key questions for the trade attending VicenzaOro First:

Is the mood for austerity in style trends over?

Some jewellers believe that signs of global economic recovery are emerging, and the mood is lifting. Perhaps a mood of increasing optimism will influence designs. Rallying stock markets and commodity prices could be a signal that industrial production will soon pick up to meet rising demand encouraged by historically low interest rates.

What is the impact of the soaring gold price?

With gold prices well-supported at above $1,100 per ounce, questions over demand for gold will be centre stage once again. Some industry analysts see the level of the U.S. dollar as key to the outlook for the gold price.

If U.S. interest rates start to rise, the dollar may strengthen against a basket of currencies because it will deliver a more attractive yield.

Gold prices have benefited from low interest rates in the last year, which contributed to dollar weakness and cut the opportunity cost of holding non-interest bearing assets. Some industry analysts believe the play for gold this year is speculating on the move in U.S. interest rates.

It will be interesting to seek the reaction of Indian jewellers at Vicenza to the lofty gold price. What are the prospects for gold jewellery demand in India for weddings?

Other questions concerning precious metals will be: Will manufacturers and designers increasingly use silver or other precious metals as alternatives to costly gold? What does the future hold for palladium in jewellery versus platinum?

What is the impact of recovering diamond markets?

Diamond markets are showing signs of recovery after a sharp slump in prices due to the economic crisis. Jewellers at Vicenza will be assessing whether diamond jewellery demand is lifting amid signals of global economic recovery.

They will also be asking how tastes for diamonds are evolving, and whether there is a shift towards coloured stones?

Market outlook in the United States and United Arab Emirates

The United States and the United Arab Emirates are among the leading markets for Italian gold and silver jewellery exports. Jewellers will be asking what impact the Dubai debt crisis will have on sales of high-end Italian jewellery in the U.A.E. Jewellery Outlook will be asking jewellers this question in Vicenza and Dubai in the coming weeks.

The industry will also be assessing prospects for diamond jewellery sales in the United States, the world’s leading diamond jewellery market.

Furthermore, what is the outlook for diamond jewellery demand in the key emerging markets of China and India?

Jewellery Outlook will be filing reports direct from VicenzaOro First and will seek answers to these questions.

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