Jordanians seem to be seeking a safe haven as their gold purchases this month  were the strongest in 10 years with demand still surging.
Rebhy Allan, Jordan Jewellers Association’s secretary, told The Jordan Times over the phone on Wednesday that Jordanians have bought almost one tonne of gold worth JD50 million ($70 million) so far this month, expecting the strong demand for the precious metal to continue during the year.
“We have not seen such a strong demand for gold in 10 years. The amount of sales over the past two weeks is a record high,” Allan pointed out.
He predicted gold sales this year to be threefold higher than last year, when Jordanians bought over five tonnes of the metal.
Allan said gold importers in Jordan have recently increased their orders in a bid to meet the surge in demand.
He indicated that the price of 24-karat gold on Wednesday was JD32.5 ($46)per gramme on the local market, while 21-karat gold was priced at JD29 ($40) per gramme, and 18-karat gold was worth JD24.5 ($34) per gramme.
Global gold prices have fallen to the lowest level in two years over the past weeks amid fears that cash-strapped countries in the eurozone would need to sell off their reserves, as Cyprus is expected to do so, to raise 400 million euros ($521 million).
But on Monday night, Cyprus finance Minister Harris Georgiades told Reuters that his country is not giving priority to a sale of gold reserves under the international bailout agreed this month and is still exploring all options to meet its side of the deal.
The amount is small but the precedent of a eurozone central bank being pushed to dispose of some of its reserves helped drive the biggest fall in gold prices in 30 years. Investors worry central banks in some of the eurozone's struggling larger economies could eventually be pushed to follow Cyprus' example.
Concerns over economic recovery in the US and China are also blamed for the sharp decline in prices.
However, gold prices on Wednesday rebounded from its sharp sell-off last week, though sentiment remained shaky after the precious metal posted its biggest-ever daily loss in dollar terms last Monday, according to Reuters.
Gold price rose more than 2 per cent at one point to a high of $1,436 an ounce, well above the two-year low of $1,321.35 touched last week, Reuters reported.