Central banks buy more gold

The world's central banks significantly stepped up purchases of gold in the third quarter of the year, by more than twice the amount they acquired in the previous three months.

At 148.4 metric tonnes, gold-buying by central banks was almost seven times higher than in the third quarter last year, and is at its highest level in more than two years.

"Central-bank buying was a highlight of the quarter. Statistics this year have been remarkable," said Marcus Grubb, the managing director of investment at the World Gold Council, which compiled the report.

Gold has become increasingly attractive as an investment as stock and bond markets fluctuate wildly. At the end of September, gold prices had gained 8 per cent in the quarter, and its price was 15 per cent higher than a year ago.