Pure 1,000-gram gold bars.
A surge in speculation led to an increase in gold demand in the third quarter, according to a World Gold Council report released Tuesday.
Exchange-traded fund inflows shot higher by the largest amount since the first quarter of 2016, in what the council attributed to accommodative monetary policies, safe-haven and momentum buying. During the third quarter, the Federal Reserve cut interest rates twice, and the European Central Bank cut interest rates in a package of easing measures.
Overall gold demand rose just 3% during the quarter, as jewelry demand shrank by 16% as the yellow metal’s prices rose.
Gold futures GC00, -0.32% were holding above the $1,500 an ounce level on Tuesday and have climbed by 19% over the last 12 months.
Central-bank buying fell by 38%, as the third quarter of 2018 featured the highest amount of buying on record. Bar and coin demand dropped by half.
The gold supply rose by 4%, helped by a 10% increase in recycling.