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Mini gold bar trade quadruples amid security threats

The average daily sales volume of mini gold bars, which weigh between 10 to 100 grams, skyrocketed fourfold in April, amid escalating geopolitical uncertainties that turned investors’ attention to safe haven assets.

Some 400 mini bars were traded a day, 300 more than usual, data by Korea Gold Exchange showed Sunday.

“Starting early last week, we have been seeing a growing demand for mini gold bars, especially among investors in their 50s and 60s.” Song Jong-gil of Korea Gold Exchange, told Yonhap News Agency. “The scare-mongering rumors that the US might bombard North Korea seem to have contributed to the trend.”

Gold closed at 59,466.67 won ($52.07) per gram on the Korean market Friday, hitting an eight-month high.

A gold bar weighing 10 grams costs 574,000 won, while one weighing 100 grams is priced at 5.45 million won, according to Korea Gold Exchange on Sunday.

Sales of 1-kilogram gold bars, sold at 54.46 million won, soared 2.5 times to 50 per day from the previous week.

With a strike group led by the nuclear-powered USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier off to Western Pacific waters, rumors that war is likely to break out on the Korean Peninsula in late April have been circulating, though Korea’s Defense Ministry has flatly denied such speculation. North Korea’s failed attempt to launch a missile Sunday, a day after it celebrated its founder Kim Il-sung’s birthday with a military parade, has added to the tension.

Gold prices in the global market have also been rising, as the US military’s bombardment of Afghanistan has fanned fears in the Middle East and the Korean Peninsula. Gold climbed $10.40 to reach $1,288.50 an ounce.

By Son Ji-hyoung (