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A normally dry research report jolted the gold market this week, when it pointed to massive but so far unidentified sovereign buyers. Central banks bought 399 tons of bullion in the third quarter, almost double the previous record, according to the World Gold Council. Just under a quarter went to publicly identified institutions, stoking speculation about mystery buyers.
Central banks globally have been accumulating gold reserves at a furious pace last seen 55 years ago when the U.S. dollar was still backed by gold. According to the World Gold Council (WGC) central banks bought a record 399 tonnes of gold worth around $20 billion in the third quarter of 2022, with global demand for the precious metal back to pre-pandemic levels.