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China gold demand for investment surges 70% *PIC*

China gold demand for investment surges 70% (by Chris Oliver)

HONG KONG (MarketWatch) -- Chinese demand for gold as an investment surged 70% in 2010 from a year earlier, outpacing all other markets in terms of the rate of change in demand for gold bars and coins as a store of value, according to figures released by the World Gold Council on Thursday. The London-headquartered organization said Chinese investment demand for the precious metal totaled 180 tons for the year, valued at about $7 billion. Total consumer demand for gold in China, which includes uses of the precious metal for jewelry and investment, totaled 579.5 tons, a rise of 27% on year. India remained the world's top gold buyer, consuming 963.1 tons in 2010, a rise of 66% from year-earlier levels. China and India jointly accounted for 51% of global gold demand for investment and jewelry, the council report said.

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China gold demand for investment surges 70% *PIC*