China’s imports of gold from Hong Kong surged 67 percent to the highest level in more than two years in December as stock market turmoil and anticipation of a further weakening in the nation’s currency spurred demand for a haven.
Net purchases rose to 111.3 metric tons from 66.8 tons a month earlier and 58.8 tons a year ago, according to data from the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department compiled by Bloomberg. Net buying increased to 774.1 tons in 2015 from 750.8 tons a year earlier and compared with a record 1,108.8 tons in 2013, the data show. Mainland China doesn’t publish the data.
Investors took advantage of the lowest global prices in almost six years to stock up on bullion amid share market gyrations and concerns the central bank would let the currency depreciate to boost slowing growth in the world’s second-biggest economy. Consumers were also buying in the run-up to Chinese New Year in February, the peak demand season.