Central banks buy most gold since 1971: Industry body

LONDON (AFP) – Central banks have bought the most gold in nearly 50 years as the precious metal profits from its safehaven status, the World Gold Council (WGC) said yesterday, amid trade tensions and Brexit uncertainty.

The banks added 651.5 tonnes to official gold reserves in 2018, up 74 per cent on a year earlier and the second highest annual total on record, the WGC said in its Gold Demand Trends report. Total gold demand reached 4,345.1 tonnes, up four per cent on 2017, also on worries about a global economic growth slowdown.

“The annual increase was driven by a multi-decade high in central bank buying and accelerated investment in bars and coins during the second half of the year,” the WGC said, when US-China trade war tensions and Brexit uncertainty caused volatility across financial markets.