Gold demand is surging as increased market volatility sparks investor speculation across the globe.
Physical gold demand climbed in India this week, with sellers charging premiums for the first time in five-and-a-half months as jewellers took advantage of a price dip and lower imports squeezed supply. Earlier this month, Indians celebrated the Dhanteras and Diwali festivals, when demand peaks.
Indonesian gold trader Sembada Gold director of operations Hendry Wijaya said his company recorded a 15% year-on-year growth in gold sales in October, citing market volatility sparked by trade war tensions between the United States and China.
Gold has always had a real place in the ETF world"
"People are buying more gold because they know it is a safe haven to face inflation and global uncertainties," Hendry told local news outlet The Jakarta Post. Sembada Gold currently has three retail stores in East Java with most of the buyers being retail investors seeking a relatively safe investment as well as those who bought jewelry for lifestyle and investment.
Singapore demand steadied after a dip in global benchmark prices, which have fallen over seven percent from a six-year high of $1,557 an ounce hit in early September.
In China, on the back of slowing economic growth amid its trade war with the US and Hong Kong protests, sales have been weak. "Demand is generally higher this time of the year (in Hong Kong), but this year it is quieter mostly because of the political situation there," said Peter Fung, head of dealing at Wing Fung Precious Metals to Reuters.
Gold held by exchange traded funds (ETFs) surged during the third quarter as investors utilised the metal's traditional safe haven status, according to the World Gold Council. Demand for gold from retail and institutional investors more than doubled compared to the same quarter last year, reaching 408.6 tons. Of this, almost two-thirds - about 258 tons - was attributable to buying by ETFs, the council said. The balance of about 150 tons came from investors buying gold bars and coins directly.
"Gold has always ... had a real place in the ETF world," Dan Draper, managing director and global head of ETFs at Invesco, told CNBC.
SPDR Gold Shares, an exchange-traded fund also known by its ticker GLD, has attracted some $5.5bn in assets year to date despite less costly competitors on the market, a trend experts say is very bullish when it comes to the fund's longevity.