(Reuters) - Record gold prices, rather than denting China's enthusiasm for bullion, have emboldened investors to plough more money into gold bars and riskier bullion-based derivatives.
August is traditionally a slow month for Chinese jewelers, but many shops in Shanghai visited by Reuters reported surprisingly solid gold sales over the last few weeks, with shoppers unfazed by gold's stellar price gains over the past few months.
"The surge in prices has sparked another gold-buying craze. The 50 gram and 100 gram gold bars were selling like hot cakes," said Ms. Liu, a store manager at Shanghai's major jeweler Lao Feng Xiang Co Ltd, who said gold sales this month were up at least 30 percent from a year ago.
The attitude of Chinese consumers -- expected to soon overtake Indians as the world's top buyers of gold -- will be an important influence on longer-term trends.
Demand from the world's most populous country, which is adding hundreds of thousands of people to the ranks of affluent and middle-income consumers every year, implies that the long-term price floor for gold is set for a steady increase.......read on