Business

Demand for gold in Japan up threefold

Bloomberg

Gold demand in Japan jumped threefold in 2013 as prices slumped and investors sought refuge from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s campaign to stoke inflation and weaken the yen, the World Gold Council said.

Demand for jewelry, bars and coins increased to 21.3 metric tons last year from 6.6 tons in 2012, the London-based council said Tuesday in a report. Demand for jewelry rose 5.4 percent to 17.6 tons and Japan became a net buyer of bars and coins for the first time since 2005, with 3.7 tons of purchases, it said.

Gold in London slid 28 percent last year, the most since 1981, as some investors lost faith in the commodity as a store of value and as the Federal Reserve said it would slow stimulus. Lower prices, the yen’s 18 percent drop last year against the dollar and the looming sales tax increase helped boost bullion’s appeal as a haven in Japan.

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