Global consumers aggressively ramped up purchases of physical gold in the April-June period, led by opportunistic buyers in emerging markets at a time when the precious metal suffered a record quarterly loss, the World Gold Council (WGC) said on Thursday.
Consumers around the world bought 53 percent more bullion in the second quarter from the year ago period, bringing total purchases of gold jewelry, bar and coins to 1,083.2 metric tons, according to WGC's quarterly report on demand trends.
Of this, India accounted for the biggest share at 310 metric tons, which is a 71 percent rise from the same period a year earlier, followed by China at 275.7 metric tons, marking an 87 percent increase.
"Bar and coin demand in China is at an all-time high, while demand for jewelry is up more than 50 percent compared to a year ago. This strong appetite for gold jewelry could be considered unusual as the second quarter is traditionally a slow season, following the peak around the Chinese New Year," Albert Cheng, managing director, Far East, WGC, an industry body representing gold miners, said.
"Given that Chinese investors have traditionally bought gold when the price is rising, this level of demand in a falling price environment suggests that Chinese consumers' confidence in gold remains strong in the long term, underpinned by the lackluster performance in other investible assets," he said.