The People’s Bank of China has tripled its gold stockpile since 2009, according to the Bloomberg Intelligence report, while, in the meantime, sales of previously owned US homes increased in March to the highest mark since September 2013, according to the National Association of Realtors. The BlackRock CEO has called art and real estate a better store of value than gold. Who is right?
Bloomberg Intelligence estimates the nation’s gold stockpile to be 3,510 metric tonnes, second to the US’s 8,133.5 tonnes.
The figure is triple the 1,054 tons of gold the nation reportedly purchased in 2009, which was calculated based on the trade data, domestic output and China Gold Association figures. China does not publish all of its gold purchase data, nor does it publish its currency holdings, but every few years. Many believe China wants gold to make the yuan a more competitive option against the US dollar in global currency markets.
The Dollar remains the most popular reserve currency, accounting for 63 percent of world central bank holdings, with the euro coming in second. The yuan was the seventh most used currency worldwide in SWIFT payments.
On Wednesday, gold futures decreased more than they have in six weeks with psychological perceptions of a recovery in the US economy undermining demand for precious metals like gold and silver. Silver has dropped to its lowest level since mid-March. It seems US people are turning to housing as perceptions of an improving economy spread.
“The housing data was very positive, and the chatter about a rate hike in June or September is getting louder” for US borrowing costs, Phil Streible, a senior market strategist at RJO Futures in Chicago, told Bloomberg.
Art, as well, is being bought up by the rich. In fact, BlackRock CEO Laurence D. Fink believes art and real estate have done better than gold as a store of value.
“The two greatest stores of wealth internationally today is contemporary art … and I don’t mean that as a joke, I mean that as a serious asset class,” said Fink. “And two, the other store of wealth today is apartments in Manhattan, apartments in Vancouver, in London.”
In the past year art is up 15 percent, and 61 percent over the past five years, which is up 252 percent in the past decade, according to the Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index.