Japanese individual investors doubled gold purchases today at Tokuriki Honten Co., the nation’s second-largest retailer of the precious metal, the company said.
Purchases doubled as the price of bullion in Tokuriki Honten’s more than 100 retail outlets dropped 6.8 percent to 4,477 yen ($46) a gram from 4,802 yen yesterday, including a 5 percent sales tax, Masahiro Arai, general manager at the precious metals department of the Tokyo-based company, said in an interview. He didn’t disclose the volume of sales.
“Gold demand from retail investors was surprisingly strong, regardless of the tumble in the international market,” said Arai, who has worked in the gold market for 28 years. “They are anticipating a recovery in yen-based gold prices, as the currency is expected to depreciate because of the Bank of Japan’s monetary easing.”
Tokuriki’s price for retail investors climbed to 5,338 yen a gram on April 10, the highest since 1980, as the yen slid to 99.88 per dollar, the weakest since April 2009. The Bank of Japan has said it will take unprecedented monetary easing to lift the world’s third-largest economy out of deflation.
Gold for immediate delivery gained 2.1 percent to $1,377.75 an ounce at 4:22 p.m. in Tokyo after posting the biggest decline since 1983 yesterday, deepening a bear market. Bullion has lost 18 percent in 2013, after rising for 12 years.