Inflationary fears fuel a gold rush

GOLD’S 25 per cent price appreciation in 2009 was driven by investors running to take cover from the prospect of rising inflation, according to the World Gold Council.

The trend of developing nations increasing their gold reserves also contributed to the precious metal’s ninth consecutive year of gains, the organisation said in an update.

Gold beat US and global equities on a risk-adjusted basis as its relatively low volatility produced proportionately higher returns.

The World Gold Council highlighted the fact that over-the-counter sales increased in the fourth quarter, with investors taking substantial long positions in bullion. Knightsbridge department store Harrods hit the headlines by becoming the first outlet in the country to offer bars of goldto customers on demand during the same period.

Juan Carlos Artigas, who compiled the report, said: “As the global economy began to show signs of recovery in the second half of 2009, the gold price and demand for the yellow metal remained strong. This looks set to continue throughout 2010.”