Feb. 19 2011 – 9:23 am
China’s Industrial and Commercial Bank(ICBC) reports that purchases of physical gold and gold-related investments are growing at record setting rates.
In January alone ICBC sold 7 tons of gold– almost half the 15 tons it sold in all of 2010. It also sold 13 tons of silver in January– almost half the 33 tons of silver it sold to clients during the past year.
Zhou Ming, deputy head of the precious metals department at ICBC believes that gold and silver purchases are replacing property speculation in China as the preferred investment.
Gold futures closed at $1388 an ounce Friday, up $23 an ounce on the week. Silver futures rose to $32.29 an ounce , a new peak for the past year, despite moves by silver mining concerns to hedge the price, which has risen by 4.5% so far in 2011.
This advance was partly due to unrest in the Middle East, and the signs of growing inflation in China.