Global gold demand rises in 2018 over strong central bank buying: report

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Global gold demand increased in 2018 due to a multi-decade high in central bank buying and accelerated investment in gold bars and coins in the second half of 2018, a report showed Thursday.

Global gold demand rose 4 percent from a year earlier to around 4,345 tonnes last year, according to the report issued by the World Gold Council (WGC).

Net gold purchases by central banks saw a year-on-year increase of 74 percent to 651.5 tonnes in 2018, the second highest annual total on record, according to the report.

In 2018, jewelry demand for gold stood at 2,200 tonnes, basically level with the previous year. The demand for gold bars and coins expanded 4 percent to 1,090 tonnes last year.

The gold-backed exchange-traded funds and similar products saw only moderate net inflows of 68.9 tonnes during 2018, down 67 percent from 2017.

Gold used in the technology sector reached 334.6 tonnes in 2018, up only 1 percent from the previous year, affected by such factors as slower smartphone sales growth, the WGC report said.

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