I'm not sure if this is a good or bad thing, considering how awful the economists who run central banks were at selling their positions for most of the past 10+ years or so. Having said that, central banks will provide a leg underneath the gold market for at least the intermediate term. From the FT.
For two decades central banks were net sellers of gold but that trend has reversed as central banks in Europe are scaling down their sales and others, such as China, India and Russia, are making significant purchases.
Asked what the most important reserve asset would be in 25 years, about half of officials polled by UBS said the US dollar but 22 per cent pointed to gold.
Bullion was the second-most popular response, well above others such as Asian currencies or the euro.
UBS surveyed more than 80 central bank reserve managers, sovereign wealth funds and multilateral institutions with more than $8,000bn in assets at its annual seminar for sovereign institutions last week. The results were not weighted for assets under management.
The reversal of the trend of central bank gold sales has boosted sentiment towards the metal while removing a significant source of supply. ...
The central bank managers believe gold will be the best-performing asset class in the next six months, ahead of equities, bonds, oil and currencies, according to the poll. ...
GFMS, the precious metal consultancy, estimates that central banks last year sold 41 tonnes of gold, down 82 per cent from the low of 2008 and the lowest level in 20 years.
Philip Klapwijk, chairman of GFMS, said central banks were more likely to be buyers than sellers for the first time in two decades. But he said: “I will be surprised if we see multi-hundred-tonnes purchases.”
There has not been a sustained period of significant central bank gold purchases since the 1960s.