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Global gold demand will rise to 4-year high in 2019: Report

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LONDON Global demand for gold this year will rise to the highest in four years as higher consumption by jewellers offsets a fall in purchases by central banks, an industry report said yesterday.

The world will consume 4,370 tonnes of gold this year, the most since 2015 and up from 4,364 tonnes last year, consultancy Metals Focus said.

Its Gold Focus 2019 report predicted gold prices would average US$1,310 (S$1,800) an ounce this year, up from US$1,268 last year and the highest since 2013. Gold currently trades around US$1,300 an ounce.

Gold consumption for jewellery will rise 3 per cent this year to 2,351 tonnes, driven by increases of 7 per cent in India and 3 per cent in China - the two largest markets - which will counter lower demand in the Middle East, Metals Focus said.

Purchases by the official sector, which surged almost 75 per cent last year as central banks added gold to diversify their reserves, will slip 9 per cent this year to 600 tonnes, it predicted.

Physical investment demand will remain largely unchanged from last year at 1,082 tonnes.

Metals Focus said gold supply would rise by 1 per cent to 4,707 tonnes thanks to higher mine production and recycling and some producer hedging.

Helping gold prices rise would be the end of interest rate rises by the US Federal Reserve, along with political and economic uncertainty around the world, Metals Focus said, but a strong dollar would limit gains.

Higher interest rates hurt gold because they make bullion, which pays no yield, less attractive to investors. A strong US dollar can depress demand by making gold more expensive for buyers with other currencies. - REUTERS

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