Buying by central banks as well as Chinese investors seeking protection from a weakening currency helped lift Demand for gold in the final quarter of last year and the trend looks set to continue, the World Gold Council said on Thursday.
Chinese demand for gold coins surged 25 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier as consumers sought to protect their wealth after Beijing devalued the yuan currency. But stock market turmoil and a slowing economy knocked consumer sentiment and Chinese demand for gold for jewellery fell 3 percent from a year earlier, WGC said.
Jewellery is the biggest source of demand for gold globally and a slight dip in such demand meant overall demand for gold was virtually flat in 2015 at 4,212 tonnes.
Central banks have been buying gold to diversify their reserves away from the U.S. dollar and their purchases edged up to 588.4 tonnes last year, second only to a record high 625.5 tonnes in 2013, the report showed.
Chinese demand for gold totalled 985 tonnes last year, followed by India on 849 tonnes. They accounted for nearly 45 percent of total global demand, with consumer demand up 2 percent and 1 percent respectively in those countries.
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