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Asia's retail gold demand sinks as price hits 9-year high

As 1 ounce nears its record of $1,923, retailing in India and China proves tough

In India and China, retail demand for gold jewelry has fallen as shoppers stay home due to the coronavirus pandemic.   © Reuters

TOKYO/NEW DELHI/SHANGHAI -- As global gold prices near record levels, pushed higher by investors looking for a safe haven amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, Asia's retail demand for physical gold has taken a beating.

Gold has become more expensive as investors fret over uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With no clear end to the outbreak in sight, central banks have opened the monetary taps, encouraging buying among people looking for a safe asset in which to park their cash.

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