(June 17): It appears that all that is gold glitters now, with more central banks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and consumers buying the precious metal. Gold accumulation by central banks and other institutions rose 68% y-o-y in 1Q2019. Recent data from the World Gold Council (WGC) shows that central banks’ net purchases of gold totalled 145.5 tonnes for 1Q2019 — the strongest 1Q purchase since 2013, during which 179.1 tonnes were bought.
Among the central banks, Russia led purchases, buying some of 55.4 tonnes in 1Q. This comes on the back of the country’s de-dollarisation drive, as it reduces its US Treasury holdings. China was another large buyer, purchasing 33 tonnes. The world’s second-largest economy had only resumed gold purchases last December, after a 25-month pause.
Other central banks also made significant additions to their gold reserves in the quarter. Ecuador boosted its gold holdings by 10.6 tonnes, making its purchase for the first time since 2014. Turkey also continued its gold accumulation with a purchase of 40.1 tonnes, while India bought some 8.4 tonnes after a nine-year hiatus.