The Commodities Feed: China buys more gold in February | articles

Last month, China’s central bank added gold to its reserves for a sixteenth straight month. The People’s Bank of China now owns 72.58 million troy ounces, equivalent to about 2,257 tonnes, after adding about 390,000 troy ounces last month. Central banks bought 1,037 tonnes of gold last year, just shy of the all-time high of 2022, as shown by data from the World Gold Council, as reserve diversification and geopolitical concerns pushed central banks to increase their allocation towards safe assets.

In the Chinese domestic market, buyers have also flocked to gold amid the country’s economic woes. Swiss exports to China, which are usually a good indication of Chinese demand for the precious metal, more than doubled in January from December to 77.8 tonnes, while shipments to Hong Kong rose almost sevenfold to 44.6 tonnes, data from the Swiss Federal Administration shows.

Gold tends to become more attractive in times of instability when investors pile into safe-haven assets as a hedge against the economic climate, geopolitical tensions or inflation. We believe this is likely to continue this year.

Meanwhile, gold continues to hover near record highs this morning with prices on track for the biggest weekly gain since October. The latest comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell suggesting that “the central bank is getting close to the confidence it needs to start lowering rates” has significantly changed the outlook for the Fed rate cut timings this year. We expect gold prices to remain volatile in the coming months as the market reacts to macro drivers, tracking geopolitical events and Fed rate policy.

However, gold ETF holdings continue to decline with total known holdings reporting outflows of 135.4koz to 82.1moz as of yesterday. Net outflows for the month now stand at 285.9koz, taking the total gold ETF holdings to the lowest since December 2019.

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