China retail gold survey 2015: China rings solid in gold
With unprecedented turbulence in the stock market shaking investor confidence, gold remains a strong focus in China. Confidence in the retail market is stubbornly high as talk of a yuan-denominated fix swells
Gold remains at the heart of Chinese culture. China was the world’s biggest gold buyer in 2014, according to the World Gold Council’s May demand trends report. The country bought 973.6 tons last year, substantially more than India’s 811.1 tons.
However, not all the news was good. Chinese demand slowed in the first quarter of this year, falling 7% to 272.9 tons. Jewellery purchases dropped 10% to 213 tonnes, outweighing a 3% gain in demand for bars and coins.
London-based WGC suggests the slump in jewellery buying was a result of the perfect storm of slowing GDP growth, a cautious outlook for gold prices and the then rapidly rising stock market, which saw investors divert money into equities.
At the end of July fears over the price of gold were justified as the market plunged to a five-year low.
First and second place in the overall results from Euromoney’s China retail gold survey remain unchanged from last year, with ICBC and Bank of China coming in first and second places respectively. HSBC stormed into the top 10 to find itself third overall.