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(From South China Morning Post)
After a 20-year bear market, gold is regaining favour in the global investment community. While the world's stock markets face their third successive year of decline, the metal lauded as "the flesh of the gods" has finally regained a little of its lustre, rising 14 per cent this year. It is trading at about US$317 (HK$2,470) an ounce after touching a five-year high of US$326 in June.
Not surprisingly, mutual funds focusing on gold mining stocks have been among the few sectors to profit this year. Gold funds in the United States have risen 31.8 per cent on average to the end of October, contrasting with an across-the-board fall of 22.5 per cent for equity funds, according to fund-tracking firm Lipper.
Big fund houses such as Merrill Lynch Investment Managers recently advised clients to include gold in their portfolios. Average trading volumes in gold futures on Japan's Tocom market have roughly tripled this year to 1.5 million contracts, according to Tanrich Financial Holdings.
While all that has been going on, what is happening in Hong Kong, a regional trading centre for gold? The …