Does China Still Love Gold?

Wall St. Cheat Sheet

On Wednesday, gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) futures for June delivery, the most active contract, jumped $24.20 to close at $1,473.70 per ounce, while silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) futures for July increased 12 cents to finish at $23.93.

Both precious metals climbed higher as the latest demand figures in China continue to show strength. Net gold flows from Hong Kong to China surged to 223.52 tonnes in March, compared to only 97.11 tonnes in February, according to data from the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department. It was a fresh all-time high and easily surpassed the previous record of 114.37 tonnes in December. China has now imported 372 tonnes of gold in the first quarter alone.

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The recent pullback in gold is likely to enhance this demand. Zhang Bingnan, secretary-general of the China Gold Association, tells Reuters, “Physical demand picked up significantly over the last couple of weeks. Consumers and industrial users tend to see price drops as buying opportunities. Investment demand should continue to stay strong through the rest of the year because of limited investment alternatives.”

By the end of the day, the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD) jumped 1.5 percent, while the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV) closed slightly in the green. Gold miners (NYSEARCA:GDX) such as Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) and Yamana Gold (NYSE:AUY) surged 8.5 percent and 5.6 percent, respectively. First Majestic Silver (NYSE:AG) gained 3.7 percent.

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Disclosure: Long EXK, AG, HL, PHYS

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