Gold rush has somewhat slowed in Korea amid depressed asset markets with funds investing in gold delivering negative returns, but industry expects the safe asset would likely stay popular among Koreans at least until June next year.
According to Seoul-based market tracker FnGuide on Sunday, an average yield of 12 gold funds with more than 1 billion won ($835,911) under management fell 5.37 percent over the past month as gold prices entered a correction under $1,500 per ounce (31.1 grams) at the end of last month after months of gains. The prices rebounded recently to above the key $1,500 mark.
Returns on gold funds that had sharply gone up to around 25 percent since the beginning of the year recently slipped to 18.48 percent following the recent price fall. Despite the retreat in prices, the funds have seen a steady money inflow, with asset volume growing by 12.4 billion won over the past month and 23.4 billion won since January.
Market analysts predicted the demand for gold would stay strong due to lingering uncertainties from a protracted trade war between the U.S. and China and concerns of a global-wide recession.
The world’s two biggest economies will resume trade talks on Oct. 10 in Washington, but it would be hard for the two nations to come out with effective resolutions on many issues as tensions have ratcheted ever higher recently, according to sources. Increased chances of a rate cut by the U.S. Federal Reserve at the upcoming meeting scheduled on Oct. 29-30 will also likely drive up gold prices, market experts forecast.
Korean brokerage Daishin Securities forecast mounting worries on the global economic slowdown and easing monetary policies in many countries would push gold prices up to around $1,600 per ounce in the first quarter next year.
By Chung Seul-gi and Choi Mira
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]