China stays on sidelines as gold prices ease

Company News

by Glenn Dyer

For the second month in a row, high world prices kept China out of the world gold market in June. This news will disappoint all those bulls who expected the country to re-enter after prices fell $100 USD per ounce from all-time highs in May.

Data on China’s foreign reserves and their makeup, released Sunday by the government, showed no addition to the gold holdings in June. The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) did not buy any metal in May when prices hit an all-time high of $2,454 USD per ounce on the Comex futures market.

The Sunday figure showed gold reserves remained unchanged for the second straight month at 72.8 million troy ounces after 18 consecutive months of purchases up to April.

The value, however, dipped to $169.70 billion USD from $170.96 billion USD in May due to lower gold prices through June.

The price ended the first week of July at $2,399.80 USD per ounce on Comex. That was up $60 USD per ounce from the June 28 (and month and quarterly Comex finish) price of $2,339 USD per ounce.

In a mid-year assessment, the World Gold Council last week noted that the metal is looking for a spark to keep it going in the second half of the year.

"Gold has performed remarkably well in 2024, rising by 12% YTD (15% in AUD) and outpacing most major asset classes,” the Council said in its update.

“As we look forward, gold and the global economy seem to be waiting for a catalyst. For gold, this will likely come from a combination of falling rates as well as bubbling market and geopolitical risks, attracting additional Western investment flows.

"However, a sizeable drop in central bank demand or widespread profit-taking from Asian investors could curtail gold’s performance,” the Council warned.

Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

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