China’s demand for gold reportedly rose nearly 20 percent in the first nine months of this year amid strong sales of gold bars.
China's gold demand rose 16 percent year on year to 815.89 tonnes in the first three quarters of 2017, Xinhua reported, citing the China Gold Association.
Jewelry consumption rose 7.4 percent to 503.87 tonnes.
Gold fell to a one-week low on Friday as consensus-beating U.S. economic data pushed the dollar higher, outweighing the impact of a lackluster jobs report.
Spot gold fell 0.6 percent to $1,267.95 an ounce by 2:26 p.m. EDT (1826 GMT), and was on track for third straight weekly decline. It hit its lowest level since Oct. 27 at $1,265.16.
U.S. gold for December delivery settled down 0.7 percent at $1,269.20, Reuters reported.
"The outlook for the interest side remains towards a stronger U.S. dollar so there are headwinds for gold," said Quantitative Commodity Research consultant Peter Fertig.
Meanwhile, gold bugs are concerned with another nation’s buying activities.
Turkey’s central bank is hoarding gold again. The question is, how much and why?
Official data show Turkey added 3.8 million ounces of gold worth almost $5 billion to reserves this year. While actual purchases could be much less -- the figure is skewed by metal deposited by commercial banks -- even if Turkey bought just one-third of the reported amount, it would still rank among the top two or three buyers this year, Bloomberg reported.
While the central bank cited a good old-fashioned diversification policy, some analysts speculated that the country could be shoring up reserves amid rising tensions between Turkey and its traditional Western allies.
“There could be any number of reasons why they’re doing this, we just don’t know,” Robin Bhar, a London-based analyst at Societe Generale SA, said by phone. “One of the popular views is that they are fearful that their neighbors will antagonize them further, and that this will help them weather that storm.”
While Turkey has boosted reserves before -- holdings more than quadrupled in the three years though late 2014 -- the recent increase comes amid deteriorating relationsbetween the country and nations such as Germany and the U.S. The central bank also started its latest buying spree as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for Turks to use gold instead of dollars to help stem a drop in the lira.
Changes in official reserves are part of a strategy of diversification, the central bank said by text message, without elaborating.
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