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Gold Demand Rose 3.8% in Fourth Quarter, Narrowing Annual Drop

Gold demand rose 3.8 percent in the fourth quarter as Indian purchases jumped, narrowing the first drop in annual usage in three years, the World Gold Council said. India remained last year’s biggest buyer, ahead of China.

Global demand gained to 1,195.9 metric tons in the quarter, the most ever for an October-to-December period, from 1,151.7 tons a year earlier, as Indian consumption surged 41 percent, the London-based industry group said today in a report. Jewelry usage rose 11 percent to the highest since the first quarter of 2011, leaving total demand for 2012 down 3.9 percent at 4,405.5 tons. That’s still 15 percent more than the five-year average.