India and China to lead gold demand: WGC

MUMBAI, August 18, 2011 (AFP) – Gold, at record-breaking levels as global economic worries mount, will see sustained demand from key markets India and China this year despite high prices, the World Gold Council said on Thursday. Global demand for the second quarter to June was 919.8 tonnes, down 17 percent year-on-year, from 1,107 tonnes in the same period last year, as the “remarkably” high European investment seen earlier levelled off.

The World Gold Council, an industry body, said demand for gold was still “healthy”, particularly for jewellery, despite the decline in demand, which steadied after the heavy investment in the last 12 months in gold exchange traded funds.

The 2011 June-end quarter was the second-highest quarterly value ever at $44.5 billion, the WGC said in a report.

The highest-ever quarterly demand for gold was valued at $44.7 billion in the three months ended last December, the council said. WGC expects demand for gold to remain strong for the rest of the calendar year, driven by demand from India and China.

The impact of Eurozone and US debt crises, inflationary pressures and buying from global central banks will also boost investment demand for gold, it said.

“The strength of demand