China Q1 gold demand hits record, bucks global fall- WGC

17-May (Reuters) — China’s gold demand hit a record high in the first quarter on investor worries over inflation and property market curbs, the World Gold Council said on Thursday, bucking a lower trend in global consumption driven by higher gold prices.

Global gold demand fell 5 percent on the year to 1,097.6 tonnes in the first three months of 2012, as jewellery and technology sectors bought less gold with average prices up 22 percent from a year earlier, but investment demand and central bank buying helped cushion the fall, the industry group said.

China remained the world’s top gold consumer for the second quarter in a row, with its gold consumer demand up 10 percent to 255.2 tonnes, beating India’s 207.6 tonnes, which was a 29 percent decline on the year.

“Further growth is expected (in China): investors remain wary of high inflation rates; and property market restrictions continue to drive demand for gold among investors seeking access to real assets,” said the WGC in its quarterly Gold Demand Trends report.

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