Central bank gold demand contracted to lows not seen in more than half a decade in the first quarter as Chinese purchases of the precious metal stalled, the World Gold Council (WGC) said in a report Thursday.
The official sector added only 76 tonnes of bullion to its holdings in the first three months of the year, down more than 25 percent when compared to the year-prior and its lowest quarterly level since 2011.
Year-on-year gold demand overall slumped 18 percent, according to the WGC’s latest Gold Demand Trends report, as Chinese buying came to a standstill.
China, the world’s biggest market for the safe haven asset, reportedly held off making any additions to its gold reserves since October, the first time Beijing has done so since it started releasing quarterly reserves data in 2015.
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