Gold demand at 8yr lows
Weak jewellery sector, ETF inflows blamed: World Gold Council
SOFT jewellery sector demand and lower inflows into exchange-traded funds ( ETFs) in Q3 2017 are blamed for the lowest level of global gold demand since Q3 2009. According to the World Gold Council’s latest
Gold Demand Trends report, the 9 per cent year-on-year drop to 915 tonnes (t) was attributed to a 3 per cent fall in global jewellery demand, as India’s new GST and tighter anti-money laundering regulations deterred buyers.
Inflows into gold-backed ETFs grew by just 19t compared with the remarkable 144t influx in Q3 2016.
Investors continued to favour gold’s risk-hedging properties, but the greater focus was on buoyant stock markets, the report stated.
Alistair Hewitt, Head of Market Intelligence World Gold Council said it was a tough quarter for gold demand, but there were 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,” Mr Hewitt said.
Volumes of gold used in technology increased for the fourth consecutive quarter as strong demand for LEDs and continued growth in the use of 3D sensors in new smartphones boosted demand by 2 per cent.
Year-to-date technology demand was 244.4t; representing the first increase since 2010.
The report noted the development of a gold- based catalyst that could improve the performance and efficiency of hydrogen- powered cars by US and Chinese researchers.
Writing in leading journal Science, researchers described the development of a gold nanoparticle/ molybdenum- carbide catalyst which attained a high level of activity at low temperatures, producing the pure streams of hydrogen critical to efficient fuel cell operation.