Emerging markets are buying a lot of gold

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April 18, 2019 2:06pm NYSE:GLD

From Wayne Duggan: Recent data from The People’s Bank of China indicates China boosted its gold reserves to 60.62 million ounces during the month of March, up from 60.26Moz in February. Over the past four months, China has upped its gold reserves by a total of 42.9 tons.

At the same time, Russia is also beefing up its gold holdings. The World Gold Council reports that Russia bought about 274 tons of gold bullion in 2018 valued at about $11 billion. In February 2019, Russia singlehandedly accounted for 1 million ounces of gold demand, roughly 6 percent of the world’s total demand.

In addition, demand for gold in India is expected to get a boost from the upcoming wedding season. Gold is traditionally a popular wedding gift in India, host to roughly 20 million weddings per year with guest lists commonly in the 3,000- to 6,000-person range.

Gold Demand Drivers

Experts say U.S. dollar weakness is one of the key drivers of gold demand in emerging markets in recent months. In addition, downward revisions to global growth forecasts and increasingly dovish central banks is creating demand for risk-averse asset classes.

“The recent revision of the global growth forecast to 3.5 per cent, from 3.7 per cent, by IMF further made investors watch out for the yellow metal and other risk investment assets,” Vinod Jayakumar of Karvy Commodities recently said.

For investors in gold ETFs such as the SPDR Gold ETF GLD, emerging market investments could help drive prices even higher. The price of gold is up 5.2 percent in the past six months to $1,276, but Goldman Sachs recently forecast that gold prices will hit $1,450 within the next year.

The SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) was trading at $120.30 per share on Thursday afternoon, up $0.02 (+0.02%). Year-to-date, GLD has declined -2.71%, versus a 9.08% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.

GLD currently has an ETF Daily News SMART Grade of B (Buy), and is ranked #1 of 35 ETFs in the Precious Metals ETFs category.

This article is brought to you courtesy of Benzinga.

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