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China thought to be stockpiling gold to cut dependence on U.S. dollar
By Munemasa Horio
Nikkei Asia, Tokyo
Tuesday, November 22, 2022
TOKYO -- Central banks are snapping up gold this year, but it is uncertain which ones are behind most of that shopping spree, fueling speculation that China is a big player.
Seeing how Russia has been hit by monetary sanctions by the West, China and some other countries must be hurrying to reduce dependence on the dollar, analysts reckon.
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Central banks bought a net 399.3 tonnes of gold in the July-September period, more than quadrupling on the year, according to the November report by industry group the World Gold Council. The latest amount marks a steep jump from 186 tonnes in the preceding quarter and 87.7 tonnes in the first quarter, while the year-to-date total alone surpasses any full year since 1967.
Buyers such as the central banks of Turkey, Uzbekistan and India reported purchases of 31.2 tonnes, 26.1 tonnes and 17.5 tonnes, respectively. The problem is that such specified buying adds up only to roughly 90 tonnes -- meaning it is unclear who bought the remaining roughly 300 tonnes net.
Some unidentified purchases are to be expected, but an unspecified slice of "this magnitude is unheard of," said Koichiro Kamei, a financial and precious-metals analyst.
Speculation is swirling over the unidentified buyers. ...
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