A Pakistani man arranges jewelry as he waits for customers in his shop in Karachi. Reduced demand for gold from jewellery, investments and technology sectors offset a rise in buying from global central banks amid economic uncertainty. – AFP (File Photo)

MUMBAI: Global demand for gold fell 11 per cent in the third quarter on an annual basis, as buying in key market China dipped because of its slowing economy, the World Gold Council said Thursday.

Worldwide demand fell year-on-year in the July-September period to 1,084.6 tonnes worth an estimated $57.6 billion as prices on average were 3.0 per cent lower than the record levels seen a year earlier, the WGC's latest report said.

Reduced demand for gold from jewellery, investments and technology sectors offset a rise in buying from global central banks amid economic uncertainty.

Buying in China fell 8.0 per cent year-on-year to 176.8 tonnes due to the “slowing of its economy which had a negative impact on consumer sentiment”, the report said.

But Marcus Grubb, managing director in investment at the WGC, said that gold would continue to be bought to preserve capital, amid “a backdrop of continued global economic uncertainty”.

India, the world's largest consumer and importer of the precious metal, saw a slight improvement in demand in the quarter, the council said, with consumption of 223.1 tonnes, up 9.0 per cent from a year earlier.

India and China, which have both been battling high inflation, together account for about half of the world's gold demand, and China is forecast to overtake India as the market leader by the end of the year.

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