Yang Cuiyan, a 41-year-old housekeeper from Anhui province, is one reason China is poised to topple India as the world’s top consumer of gold even as investors desert the metal.
Standing outside Beijing’s busiest jewelry store, wearing a thick coat against the autumn chill, she clasps a gold necklace that cost her 10,000 yuan ($1,640), or five months’ wages.
“I don’t know anything about the stock market and I don’t have enough money to buy property, so I figured gold is the safest choice,” she said. “I can put it on when I go back home to show everyone that I’m doing well.”
Yang, who made the 650-mile (1,000-kilometer) journey to the capital from her rural home to visit relatives and shop, is one of the legions of middle-aged Chinese women, respectfully referred to as aunties, who bought coins and jewelry this year, bringing support to a market shunned by many professional investors who began doubting the metal as a store of value.
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