Turkey Imported Most Gold in Six Years as Slump Spurred Buying

Turkey’s gold imports climbed to the highest in more than six years last month as consumers boosted physical purchases after prices slumped.

Imports rose to 46.9 metric tons, the most since August 2008, from 6.6 tons in October, according to data on the Istanbul Gold Exchange’s website. Silver imports reached the highest level this year.

Gold touched a four-year low last month as the dollar rallied on bets an improving U.S. economy will spur policy makers to raise interest rates, curbing the metal’s appeal. The rout has sparked more demand for coins from the U.S. Mint and boosted trading volumes in China. Turkey was the fifth-largest consumer in the third quarter, World Gold Council data show.

“Turkish buying is helping not to remove, but at least reduce, the negative sentiment that has been widespread in recent months,” Ole Hansen, head of commodities strategy at Saxo Bank A/S in Copenhagen, said today by e-mail. Physical consumers have probably seen lower prices as a buying opportunity, he said.

Gold for immediate delivery reached $1,132.16 an ounce in London on Nov. 7, the lowest since April 2010. Prices dropped as much as 1.6 percent to $1,186.47 today as the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index reached a five-year high after a report showed the U.S. economy created the most jobs in almost three years.

A stronger dollar and higher U.S. interest rates reduce gold’s allure because the metal generally offers investors returns only through price gains. Hedge funds and other money managers have cut bullish wagers by 54 percent since early July, U.S. government data show.

Turkey’s silver imports increased to 35.5 tons last month from 23.7 tons in October, exchange data show. That was the highest since December.

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