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China Behind U.S. in Gold Holdings, Has a Long Way to Go

 

Nomvember 12, 2012 - Gold gained 0.32 percent in early Monday trading to $1,736.50 per troy ounce, continuing to hold at a three-week high near $1,738 reached on Friday and significantly higher than the two-month low around $1,672 from last week. U.S. gold futures for December delivery gained 0.34 percent to $1,736.70 per troy ounce.
 
The president of the Shanghai Gold Exchange said at the London Bullion Market Association conference in Hong Kong that the bourse would launch an interbank market in early December that would start with spot contracts and eventually include forward contracts.
 
Attending the same conference, the general director of the People’s Bank of China, Xie Duo, said the central bank had not set a time-frame on issuing more gold import licenses to banks but was keep to further open up the market to the international community.
 
The holdings of the Chinese government have become a significant focus for the gold market as investors look for drivers on the side of investment demand and as analysts attempt to map their way out of the gold correction. Chinese government holdings are significantly low compared with developed Western countries. Additionally, the slowdown in the Chinese economy, which has been a focus of Western investor demand for some time, contributes to the gold market as well as broader financial markets.
 
Last week, the global head of metals at consultancy Thomson Reuters GFMS said he expected China’s gold demand to increase by 1 percent this year, bringing the tonnage to a record around 860 tonnes, which would catapult the country to overtaking India as the world’s biggest consumer of gold for the first time on a yearly basis.
 
Gold prices may hit $2,000 per troy ounce in 2013 as rising costs and production constraints hold supply in check, according to Barrick Gold Corp, the world’s biggest gold producer, which released a statement on Monday.
 
David Gornall, chairman of the London Bullion Market Association, said at the annual conference recently held in Hong Kong that China has been the world’s number one gold-mining country for the past five years. Gornall is also head of metals trading at Natixis SA. He added what is remarkable is the way that this growth has continued while many of the other important mining countries have struggled to maintain production.

 

 

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Jonathan Monroe

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