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Global gold demand down 7 pct in Q1 as investment slows: WGC

Global gold demand down 7 pct in Q1 as investment slows: WGC

John Mulligan, the head of member and market relations at the World Gold Council, said investors "haven't seen a trigger to buy into the market".

This was largely caused by a fall in investment demand for gold bars and gold-backed exchange-traded funds (ETFs), as a subdued gold price environment hampered demand. In 2017, while China's share of the total demand increased to 31.6 per cent, India's fell to 23 per cent.

The total gold investment demand - ETFs inflows, and bar and coin demand - was 27 percent lower compared to the same period past year.

Total Investment demand for Q1 2018 was down by 13 per cent at 27.9 tonne in comparison with Q1 2017 (32 tonne).

"Last year, Europe led the inflows into ETF following geopolitical situations, including elections in at least three countries and BriExit and general weakness in economic conditions". India - the second-largest gold jewelry consumer after China - reported its weakest quarter since 2008, falling 12 percent year on year to 87.7 tons.

"The transition to GST, especially by the unorganised sector, also affected demand to a certain extent", he said.

More news: Friday is deadline to register to vote in Primary Election

Meanwhile, the report revealed that global jewellery demand was flat at 487.7 tonne in Q1 2017, compared to 491.6 tonne in the same period a year ago. The Dow Jones industrial average hit a record high on 26 January, the last day of the Davos meeting of world leaders, but fears of higher interest rates and trade wars prompted a big sell-off on global stock markets in February, which in turn drove up gold prices. Russian Federation was the biggest official sector buyer, responsible for just over a third of central bank demand. Gold demand in India declined by 12 per cent in the first quarter of 2018 to 115.6 tonne compared to the same period previous year as higher domestic gold prices took a toll on demand.

The wireless sector was noted as a key area for growth as new technologies like 3D facial recognition were used in smartphones and security systems.

Meanwhile, the report also said the total supply of gold increased by 3 per cent in the first quarter this year to 1,064 tonne, due to increased mine production and net hedging.

The solid inflows into central bank reserves also highlight the ongoing relevance of gold as a strategic asset for institutional investors, he added.

"A substantial drop in the number of auspicious wedding days during the period compared with Q1 2017, could be a factor for muted demand as consumers made less wedding-related purchases".


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