Following Their Government, Chinese Catching Gold Fever

Bitten by the gold bug, Chinese investors are now rushing to hoard the yellow metal as fears over the global recession deepen.

The increased sales of gold bars and gold jewelry in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and other large cities are reflected in the precious metal’s price surge on the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE), which trades in gold contracts for forward deliveries. Gold prices quoted on the SGE have increased by an average 6.74 percent in the past month to the current level of about 209 yuan a gram.

“Gold demand in China in the first quarter rose to 114 tons, up 2 percent over the same period last year, solely boosted by an increase in jewelry demand,” according to the latest Gold Demand Trends report for the first quarter of 2009 published by the World Gold Council.

The report said global demand for gold rose 38 percent year-on-year to 1,016 tons, representing a 36 percent rise in value. China is the world’s second largest gold consuming country after India.

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