The not-for-profit stated that more than 148 MT of gold were bought by the national banks in the three months to the end of September, a rise of 22 percent on the same period last year.
Reports indicate that The Central Bank of the Russian Federation purchased nearly 92 tons of gold, leading the pack and making it the country’s biggest quarterly net purchase.
The bank’s first deputy governor Dmitry Tulin told lawmakers in the lower house of parliament that gold was “a 100 percent guarantee from legal and political risks.”
Other big buyers of gold during the third quarter were the central banks of Turkey (18.5 tons), Kazakhstan (13.4 tons) and India (13.7 tons). In Europe, the national banks of Poland and Hungary also ramped up gold purchases. According to the WGC, the latter has said the buying is to enhance the long-term stability of its reserves.
A CNBC report explains that gold is often considered as a hedge against any fall in value of the U.S. dollar. During Q3 2018, dollar index went up by around 0.7 percent. Despite interest from multiple central banks, the price of gold fell around 4 percent during the period, slipping below $1,200 per troy ounce to hit its lowest level since January 2017. Bullion has since seen a positive month in October, rising by around 2 percent.
The WGC said that while central bank demand was complemented by more buying of physical bars and coins, jewelry and orders from technology firms, investors took flight. Data by the council has revealed that selling of gold-backed exchange traded funds (ETFs) in the third quarter resulted in sales of more than 116 tons of the precious metal. The overall net effect was that gold demand in the third quarter was 964.3 tons, 6.2 tons higher on a year-on-year basis.