The world's central banks purchased 90 metric tons of gold in all of 2010 but through this past April they have acquired 129 metric tons, according to the World Gold Council.
Bloomberg reports council managing director Marcus Grubb, speaking at a London conference on Thursday, also predicted the banks' purchasing activity will remain strong for the remainder of the year and through next year. That demand just might benefit the precious metal in the near term, one analyst forecast.
"I wouldn't be surprised if this is contributing to the slight price move up today," executive director Mark O'Byrne of Goldcore in Dublin told Bloomberg. "This could be the beginnings of the euro zone central banks buying gold as a monetary asset in order to protect the euro," O'Byrne's Thursday report states.
Thus far this year, gold futures have benefited from anti-government demonstrations in the Middle East, preoccupations about inflation and the weakening U.S. dollar as the precious metal aspires toward its 11th straight year of annual gains.
Gold futures also are climbing as a result of sovereign debt troubles in the euro zone, Forexpros.com reports. Greece is attempting to hash out details to secure the second installment of the June 2010 bailout for its beleaguered banks and public finance systems.
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