Gold futures trading volume surged during the first after-hours session on the Shanghai Futures Exchange, adding to signs of robust demand for the precious metal in China.
Volume for the contract for delivery in December reached 224,320 in the five-and-a-half hour session from 9 p.m. local time on July 7. That compared with an average of 87,129 in June during the regular four-hour trading day, according to data from the bourse.
Bullion has lost 27 percent this year amid speculation that the Federal Reserve will curb its asset-buying program as the U.S. economy recovers. The rout strengthened demand for jewelry and coins around the world and the second half of the year usually sees gains in physical demand for wedding seasons and religious festivals in Asia, including India and China, the biggest buyers.
“Individual Chinese investors are quite keen to invest in gold despite the slump in prices,” Long Ling, an analyst at Industrial Futures Co., said by phone from Shanghai today.
China’s net gold imports from Hong Kong increased 40 percent in May from a month earlier as the metal’s deepening slump continued to attract bargain hunters to bullion shops.
In addition to futures, spot gold is traded in China on the Shanghai Gold Exchange, while two asset managers are raising money this month for the country’s first two exchange-traded funds backed by bullion.
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