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Gold Demand up 36pc in Q2, says WGC

Wednesday 25th August 2010
Demand for gold during Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis saw the precious metal soar 36 per cent in the second quarter as investors bought bullion-backed funds such as ETFs which sent prices surging, according to the producer-funded World Gold Council(WGC).

According to the WGC, investors purchased 291.3 metric tons of gold in exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, the second-highest quarter on record, and central banks were net buyers for a fifth straight period.

Gold traded in New York averaged $1,198.05 an ounce during the quarter, up 30 percent from a year earlier, as Europe’s fiscal woes spurred investors to buy gold as a haven.

The metal surged to a record $1,266.50 on June 21 and reached the highest ever in euros, sterling and Swiss francs.

Investment demand, including bars and coins, more than doubled to 534.4 tons from 245.4 tons, the WGC said. Jewellery demand fell 5.1 per cent to 408.7 tons, and total demand from India, the biggest buyers of the metal, was little changed from a year earlier at 164.5 metric tons.

As European policy makers pledged $1 trillion to rescue the region’s economy, quarterly investment in gold ETFs surged.

ETFs attracted 465.1 tons of investment in the first quarter of 2009, the most ever, after the Federal Reserve slashed the main U.S. interest rate to between zero and 0.25 percent to stimulate the economy and Congress passed the Troubled Asset Relief Program to bail out banks.

Gold supply rose almost 18 percent to 1,131.6 tons from 963 tons, the WGC said. Central banks purchased 7.7 metric tons during the quarter and producers bought back 15 tons.

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