By Royston Wild, Contributor
Gold’s reputation as the ultimate rush-to-safety asset was underlined by latest World Gold Council (WGC) data released on Thursday.
The London-based body announced that investment demand for the yellow metal surged to 1,064 tonnes between January and June, up 16% from the previous first-half high printed in 2009 when the global economy lurched into recession.
Investor demand rose 127% higher year-on-year in the first six months of 2016, the WGC noted, and carried a value of $41.6bn. This bubbly investor interest drove total gold demand during the half to some 2,235 tonnes, the second highest amount ever recorded.
The WGC commented that “for the first time on record, investment has been the largest component of gold demand for two consecutive quarters, adding that “this has been in no small part due to demand from Western investors across the spectrum, from retail to institutional and for bars, coins and ETFs.”
Safe Haven Surges
Central banks have been very much in focus during the first six months, the WGC noted, with expectations of delayed interest rate hikes in the US — combined with negative interest rate policies in Europe and Japan — driving demand for the so-called hard currency.