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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Gold Jewelry Demand Up 18%, Total Demand Up 29%

The gold price rose for the tenth consecutive year in 2010 reaching $1,405.50 an ounce by the end of December on the London PM fix, a 29 percent increase from last year’s levels, the World Gold Council reports.

Last year’s price performance was driven by developments in key gold markets, WGC said in its Gold Investment Digest for the fourth quarter and full-year 2010. China saw increased investment activity, driven in part by innovative new gold investment vehicles offering improved access to the gold market. Globally, investors remained concerned about uncertainty in the macro-economic environment and turned to gold to hedge against weakness in the US dollar and rising inflation in many economies.

However, WGC noted that despite its high cost, global jewelry demand totaled 1,468 tons during the first nine months of 2010—a year-over-year increase of 18 percent. This includes a rebound in gold jewelry consumption in India, the world’s largest gold market.

In addition, gold demand for technological and industrial applications continued to recover during the first nine months of 2010, registering a 19 percent increase over the same period in 2009.

“The gold story in 2010 is about growth in demand and not just economic concerns. It is significant that consumers increased their gold jewelry spending during the first nine months of last year, despite the rising price of gold,” said Juan Carlos Artigas, WGC Investment Research Manager. “Strong investment activity and a normalization of gold demand in technological applications during the same period further supported gold’s stellar appreciation.”

Complete full-year data for gold demand will be available in February when the WGC publishes its Gold Demand Trends report.

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