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SINGAPORE Oct 27 China's net gold imports from
main conduit Hong Kong jumped to a ten-month high in September,
data showed on Tuesday, in a strong sign of recovering demand in
the second half of the year.
Imports by the world's top consumer have now risen for three
consecutive months, with the third quarter recording the best
quarter of the year for overseas purchases.
China's appetite for gold has improved in the second half of
2015, as domestic stock markets performed badly.
Its net gold imports from Hong Kong rose to 97.242 tonnes
last month from 59.319 tonnes in August, according to data
emailed to Reuters by the Hong Kong Census and Statistics
September's imports were the highest monthly overseas
purchases since November 2014.
The robust numbers came in the lead up to a seasonally
strong fourth quarter.
China's peak season for gold demand kicked off from the
national day holiday in the first week of October. It lasts
until the Lunar New Year early next year as gold is a popular
choice for gift giving.
Imports have also been boosted by higher premiums as banks
can make a good profit from the difference between global and
Chinese gold prices, traders have said.
China's gold demand in the second half of the year will be
better than the first half, due in part to falling stock
markets, GFMS analysts at Thomson Reuters said earlier on
Tuesday in the third-quarter update of their Gold Survey 2015.
"Having said that, we still expect China's total gold demand
to record a second consecutive annual decline in 2015," GFMS
Chinese demand hit in a record high in 2013, when gold
prices slumped following a 12-year rally, but consumption has
eased since that buying frenzy.
China does not provide official trade data on gold, so the
Hong Kong figures serve as a proxy for flows to the mainland.
The Hong Kong data, however, does not provide a full picture
of Chinese purchases as imports also come directly through
Shanghai and Beijing.
(Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Tom Hogue and Ed