The UAE ranked third in the world for the number of online searches for the price of gold, new research has found.
UAE residents made an average of 521,000 online searches for the price per month, equivalent to 58.45 searches per 1,000 active internet users, UK gold bar specialist PhysicalGold.com said.
The website utilised online analytics tool Ahrefs to assess countries with the largest numbers of people keeping track of the price of gold. Countries were ranked from highest to lowest based on average monthly online searches.
India ranked first in the world for people most interested in the price of gold, with an average of 3.7 million online searches a month, the research found. That is the equivalent of 120,019 online searches per day, PhysicalGold.com said on Wednesday.
Investors are looking to add an element of stability to their investment portfolio and the safe-haven asset has emerged as a popular investment option amid the Covid-19 pandemic, PhysicalGold.com said.
Gold started the year trading at $1,930, below its all-time high of $2,084 last August. Today, it stands at $1,807, a drop of 6.3 per cent.
The precious metal eased on Wednesday as the dollar emerged as the preferred safe-haven bet amid fears that the highly contagious Delta coronavirus variant may stall a global economic recovery, while a rebound in US bond yields further pressured bullion prices.
Spot gold was down 0.2 per cent to $1,806.56 per ounce at 7am UAE time. US gold futures fell 0.2 per cent to $1,808.10.
“Even though gold [is] considered a safe haven, in times where there are true concerns about growth outlook, policy going forward and there is a drive to safety, the US dollar always wins out,” IG Market analyst Kyle Rodda said.
“We did see some buyers coming through below $1,800 per ounce, which was constructive. But at the moment, the dollar is viewed as a safe haven on bets that the US economy will outperform a patchy global economy.”
The US ranked second in the PhysicalGold.com study, with 2.5 million online searches per month, while the UK was fourth with 519,300 online monthly searches.
Canada (381,400) and Australia (348,900) were among countries with more than 300,000 online searches per month, ranking fifth and sixth respectively, the research found.
“Gold is unlike volatile asset classes that generate quick returns. It has always been a steady investment vehicle that can deliver solid returns as a medium-to-long-term investment,” Dan Fisher, a gold specialist from PhysicalGold.com, said.
“Gold investing is unique as the price tends to increase when many other asset classes such as stocks and bonds fall, so it provides a good balance to your investment portfolio.”
Investing in gold can take the form of physical bars and coins, gold equity funds, mining shares or exchange-traded funds, he added.
However, it is better to buy gold coins rather than bars for investment, Mr Fisher said.
“Coins provide more flexibility to sell small parts of the holding and can fetch higher prices when you wish to sell. In the same way that larger bars are cheaper per gram than small ones, buying gold coins in bulk can also achieve price discounts,” he said.
Elsewhere in the Gulf region, Saudi Arabia had an average of 197,600 online searches for the price of gold every month, while Qatar stood at 76,800, Kuwait 63,850 and Oman 46,700, the company said.
“The idea behind gold investment is that the underlying value of gold increases over time. Historically this rate of increase is higher than inflation, so the value of your investment increases in real terms,” Mr Fisher said.
Recommending a mixture of gold and stocks in an investment portfolio, Mr Fisher said both assets can rise and fall in value. However, while stocks can fall to zero if a company goes bankrupt, physical gold will always have its intrinsic value, he added.