Gold climbed $24.50 or 1.75% yesterday to $1,425.40/oz and silver finished +0.82%.
Demand for gold bars, coins and jewelry has soared as bargain hunters try to capitalize on the dip in prices.
In Hong Kong and Beijing customers lined up outside banks and jewelry shops to make purchases and in some instances there was not enough physical metal to meet the demand.
The Shanghai Gold Exchange’s cash contract hit a new record high yesterday (43 metric tonnes, up from 30.4 on April 19th) while gold coin sales at the U.S. Mint have nearly tripled in April against last month’s figures.
Joni Teves of UBS research said, “Physical markets have responded to the much cheaper gold price levels,” and “our physical flows to Asia have been particularly elevated this week.”
Asian investors demand for the physical yellow metal have supported the gold price, rallying it up 8.1% from last week’s low.
The Financial Times interviewed Haywood Cheung, president of the Hong Kong Gold & Silver Exchange Society, who noted, “the exchange had effectively run out of most of its holdings as members looked to meet a shortfall in supply amid rampant retail demand for gold, and in terms of volume, I haven’t seen this gold rush for over 20 years,” he said. “Older members who have been in the business for 50 years haven’t seen such a thing.”
Asian traders confirmed that investors are paying double the premiums to acquire the physical asset.
Chow Tai Fook, the Hong Kong based world’s number one jeweller by market capitalisation, noted that in some shops they had sold out of gold bars.
China is the 2nd largest consumer of gold in the world, but may outpace India this year.
Japanese investors and store of wealth buyers are seeking refuge in gold bullion due to currency devaluation and inflation concerns. They are set to become net buyers of gold for the first time in eight years as the yen’s decline and looming inflation drive them to seek refuge in bullion, according to Standard Bank Plc.Courtesy: Goldcore