Central banks double last year's gold buys

Central banks demand for gold in the second quarter reached 157.2 tonnes, a record high and more than double last year's Q2, according to the World Gold Council, which released its gold survey on Thursday.

Stand-outs—countries that had a yen for yellow metal—were the National Bank of Kazakhstan, and the central banks of the Philippines, Russia and Ukraine.

Marcus Grubb, managing director at the World Gold Council, noted that gold demand for the year was down due to softness in China and India.

"However, through all the uncertainty, it is clear that gold’s fundamental properties as a vehicle for capital preservation and a source of liquidity continue to endure," said Grubb in a statement.

"This is evident from the activity of central banks, the ultimate long term investors, which continue to increase their gold holdings to diversify reserves and protect against reliance on one or more foreign currencies."