A slowing Chinese economy has dented worldwide demand for gold, helping to send the metal’s price down about 10% compared to last year.
In the third quarter, 1,085 metric tons of gold were sold on global markets, down 11% from 1,223.5 tons sold in the same period last year, the Associated Press noted.
China represents the second largest market for gold. But demand among Chinese gold buyers fell 8% during the quarter as the Chinese middle class pulled back from jewelry purchases in the face of sagging economic growth.
Fewer jewelry stores opened in China last quarter, further hitting demand.
However, economists predict that Chinese gold demand could rebound as the holiday shopping season approaches since gold jewelry is a common gift to employees and customers from Chinese businesses.
Purchases of gold bars and coins were also hurt by falling demand from Europe, which continues to struggle under a sovereign debt crisis and a renewed recession.