TOKYO (Reuters) – The retail price of physical gold in Japan climbed to its highest in nearly 40 years on Thursday, a surge accentuated by fluctuations in the value of the yen but mirroring a global hunt for the safe-haven precious metal amid worries that the U.S.-China trade row could further depress the global economy.
Japan’s biggest gold retailer Tanaka Kikinzoku said the retail price of refined gold, revised once a day in yen, stood at 5,325 yen ($49.99) per gramme on Thursday, not including consumption tax, up 0.7% from Wednesday.
That was the highest since Feb. 14, 1980 – a year when the U.S. President was Jimmy Carter and Honda Motor Co said it would build Japan’s first U.S. car assembly plant in Ohio.
Trading has become so brisk, according to the retailer, that customers now need to be patient in concluding transactions.
“Demand for gold transactions has picked up since mid-August,” said Tanaka Kikinzoku spokeswoman Rie Kato. “Retail customers, whether buyers or sellers, now need to wait for two-three hours to get their deals done.”