Gold investors favour bars and coins

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Gold investors favour bars and coins

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The World Gold Council has said there was an increase in the purchase of gold bars and coins in the first three months of this year helping lift overall demand for bullion by 11 percent.

Total coin and bar demand rose by 52 percent. Gold investment increased by 26 percent in tonnage terms.

There was a decline in the sale of gold exchange traded funds – which issue securities backed by physical gold.

The precious metal is traditionally used by investors as a safe haven during times of economic uncertainty and the price has risen almost 50 percent in the last year and a half.

Central banks were also major gold buyers, reversing a previous trend.

Jewellery consumption, which recovered last year after a weak 2009, continued to rebound, with total buying up seven percent. It was the largest single segment in terms of demand.

This was geographically specific, led by Asia. China’s gold jewellery demand rose by 21 percent, while Indian buying climbed by 12 percent. Jewellery demand fell in the Middle East, Italy and the United States.

Gold supply was down by four percent in the first quarter.