Global gold demand slumped to its lowest level in five years in 2014 as bar and coin buying plunged and jewelry purchases cooled, according to the World Gold Council (WGC).
Overall demand totaled 3,924 tonnes, down 4 percent on year at its lowest level since 2009, the WGC's quarterly demand trends report, published on Thursday, showed.
Total bar and coin investment fell 40 percent to 1,064 tonnes as investors, who had made major purchases in 2013 amid a sharp fall in prices, held back from further purchases, the industry group said.
In China, where demand for gold bars and coins halved, "investors, with already-stuffed coffers, needed a strong price signal to add to their holdings. But none was forthcoming. Meanwhile, the recovery in the domestic equity market – particularly in the latter half of the year – provided investors with an increasingly appealing alternative," WGC said.