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Physical gold demand a bright spot in Q3

Topics [ gold bullion gold ]

Global gold demand disappointed in Q3 2017 according to the World Gold Council’s latest Gold Demand Trends, but physical buyers bucked the trend with a solid increase in investment coin and bar purchases.

At 915 tonnes, total demand fell 9% compared the same period last year, with particular weakness seen in Indian jewellery volumes.

Stalling inflows into gold-backed exchange-traded funds (ETFs) also negatively impacted Q3 figures, the report’s authors said. Reasons cited for slowing ETF deposits included investors’ reluctance to bet against soaring stock markets.

Physical gold demand a bright spot in Q3

However, many used their strategic ETF holdings to complement their equity positions as a hedge against any possible downturn, they said.

On a further positive note, gold bar and coin demand increased by 17%, albeit from relatively weak year-earlier levels.

The report noted that China drove much of the growth in physical gold products, with investors buying on the dips to help the world’s largest gold consumer clock up its fourth consecutive quarter of growth.

“It was a tough quarter for gold demand,” according to Alistair Hewitt, Head of Market Intelligence at the World Gold Council. “India was coming to terms with GST and anti-money laundering regulations and, although we saw ETF inflows at 19 tonnes, they were significantly lower than last year.

“But there were some real bright spots: retail investment demand in China grew for the fourth consecutive quarter; the Turkish and Russian central banks added to gold reserves; and, after years of declines, we also saw increased use of gold in technology, supported by the demand for high-end smartphones.”

The Perth Mint finished the quarter on an upbeat note with a rebound in sales of gold bullion coins and minted bars driven by the launch of the Australian Lunar coin series for 2018 and healthy exports to China.

The Gold Demand Trends Q3 2017 is compiled with data provided by independent precious metals consultancy Metals Focus.

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