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WGC: Gold demand up by 25% in Q4 2008

The World Gold Council (WGC) has revealed today (January 20th) that gold prices increased by 25 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2008, Reuters reports.

Publishing its findings in its latest quarterly investment report, the body claimed that the marked rise was related to strong safe-haven buying amid a deteriorating economic landscape.

Natalie Dempster, the WGC's head of investment for North America, explained in the report that gold managed to outperform other assets last year despite the numerous challenges it faced.

According to the news provider, she wrote: "Gold's performance is especially impressive considering the massive wealth destruction that took place elsewhere in financial markets.

"Global equities and many commodities, for example, lost approximately half their value over the course of last year."

The report also highlighted the fact that of the 17 commodities being regularly followed by the WGC, gold was the only one to experience a price rise over the course of the year.

This view has also been expressed recently by Graham Briggs, the chief executive officer of Harmony Gold Mining Company, the sixth-largest gold producer in the world.

"All the signals are there that gold has a store of wealth and people are treating it that way," he said in an interview with the news provider.

"Worldwide production is declining, juniors are unable to explore because of lack of funds, and some ongoing projects are not being funded."

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