Caixin
Sep 10, 2019 05:26 AM
ECONOMY

China Has Added Nearly 100 Tons of Gold to Its Reserves

Bullion is near a six-year high as central banks cut interest rates in response to mounting signs of a slowdown amid the U.S.-China trade war. Photo: Bloomberg
Bullion is near a six-year high as central banks cut interest rates in response to mounting signs of a slowdown amid the U.S.-China trade war. Photo: Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) — China has added almost 100 tons of gold to its reserves since it resumed buying in December. The run of accumulation comes amid a rally in prices and the economic drag of the trade war with Washington.

The People’s Bank of China raised bullion holdings to 62.45 million ounces in August from 62.26 million a month earlier, according to data on its website at the weekend. In tonnage terms, August’s inflow was 5.91 tons, following the addition of about 94 tons in the previous eight months.

Bullion is near a six-year high as central banks including the Federal Reserve cut interest rates in response to mounting signs of a slowdown amid the U.S.-China trade war. Central bank purchases have been another key support for prices as authorities from China to Russia accumulate significant quantities of bullion to diversify their reserves. That buying spree is likely to persist in coming years, according to Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd.

Trade war restrictions, in the case of China, or sanctions, as with Russia, create “an incentive for these central banks to diversify,” John Sharma, an economist at National Australia Bank Ltd., said in an email. “Also, with increasing political and economic uncertainty prevailing, gold provides an ideal hedge and will therefore be sought after by central banks globally.”

China has previously gone long periods without revealing increases in gold holdings. When the central bank announced a 57% jump in reserves to 53.3 million ounces in mid-2015, it was the first update in six years.

Spot gold rose 0.2% to $1,510.27 an ounce Monday. Prices, which capped a fourth straight month of gains in August, have risen 18% this year. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and BNP Paribas SA are among banks that say they expect the metal to challenge $1,600 an ounce in coming months.


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