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Chinese and Russian influence on high gold price

The price of gold has soared in 2016, propped up by China and Russia’s continued purchases of bullion to reduce their dependence on the US dollar, according to analysts.

The World Gold Council calculates that China has around 1,823.3 tonnes of gold, the sixth largest international holding, while Russia has the seventh biggest with 1,498.7 tonnes.

Marketwatch analyst David Marsh said: “China and Russia, the world's No1 and No3 producers, are catching up to the big industrial countries in stocks of bullion in their official reserves.”

China is understood to be upping its gold holdings as part of its efforts to make its currency, the renminbi, a global reserve currency. Russia, meanwhile, is keen to reduce its reliance on the US dollar so that it lessens the effects of any financial sanctions imposed by the US.

Alor Broker commodities specialist, Pavel Khoroshilov, said: “Large scale demand from China and Russia has provided solid support for gold since the beginning of the year.

“From January to April, China bought 11 tonnes per month and Russia bought 14 tonnes per month.”

Gold purchases by Russia and China are building on the two nations’ efforts to boost their bullion supplies in 2015. Last year, the total amount of gold held by governments around the world jumped by 702.5 tonnes. That compares to the relatively small international increase of 176.6 tonnes recorded in 2014.

The Chinese and Russian effects on the gold price are just one element in what has so far been an extraordinary year for the precious metal.

Political and economic uncertainty on a global basis, with events such as Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, have sent investors scurrying to gold for its safe haven properties. It’s possible that the US presidential election at the end of the year will have similar effects on investors and result in the gold price climbing even higher.

Article Last Updated: Monday, August 8, 2016