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Gold buying hits record levels in Q3

New research has suggested that dollar demand for buying gold reached record levels during the third quarter of 2008 as investors snapped it up for its safe haven qualities.

The World Gold Council (WGC) has released its latest Gold Demand Trends report, which found that $32 billion was spent on the precious metal during the quarter.

This represents a rise of 45 per cent from the figure recorded for Q2 2008, while the study also revealed that tonnage demand rose by 18 per cent on a year-on-year basis.

James E Burton, chief executive officer of the WGC, said: "Gold's universal role as a store of value and safe haven helped attract investors and consumers to all forms of gold ownership during the quarter.

"The rise in demand for gold bars has been impressive."

Mr. Burton also expressed his belief that gold investment is set to remain strong in the future as concerns over the economy persist, although he added that it is "too early" to rule out any more market volatility.

His views were echoed recently by Walter de Wet, an analyst at Standard Bank - the largest bank in South Africa - who explained that gold could be boosted by the fact that the downturn will be extremely difficult to conquer.

"While [recent interest rate cuts] add to the enormous monetary stimulus already in motion globally, markets remain unconvinced that it is enough to save the world from a major economic downturn," he said.

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