China boosted its gold reserves for a fifth straight month, extending efforts by the world’s central banks to boost their holdings of the precious metal.

The People’s Bank of China raised its holdings by about 18 tons in March, according to data on its website on Friday. Total stockpiles now sit at about 2,068 tons, after growing by about 102 tons in the four months before March.

Nations have been building up stockpiles of bullion amid heightened geopolitical risks and high inflation. Central-bank demand rose for a second year in 2022, and the biggest buyers in January of this year were Turkey, China and Kazakhstan, according to the World Gold Council.

This flurry of purchases by China’s central bank is the first since a ten-month run that ended in September 2019. Prior to that, the last wave of inflows ended in late-2016.

The price of gold reached its highest in more than a year on Wednesday this week, after weaker-than-expected US economic data. The banking crisis and growing worries about global growth have boosted demand for the haven metal. 

Meanwhile, China’s end-March foreign currency reserves rose to $3.1839 trillion, up by $50.7 billion from the month before, the data showed.


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