For Gold, a Tussle Between Two Groups of Investors

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Despite heavy demand among retail investors, institutional investors have kept the upper hand, according to Wednesday's report from the World Gold Council. Heavy selling by institutions has more than offset retail buying and pushed gold prices to their lowest level in more than a year.

Retail investors sharply increased their demand for gold bars and coins in the past few months as they struggled to find a safe place for their money amid the financial crisis, research shows.

But institutional investors have kept the upper hand, according to Wednesday's report from the World Gold Council, a gold mining industry association. Heavy selling by institutions has more than offset retail buying and pushed gold prices to their lowest level in more than a year.

President of the Midas Funds, Tom Winmill, explains to Dow Jones' Simon Constable why retail investment demand for gold bullion more than doubled during the third quarter.

Moves by retail investors, including demand for bars and coins, resulted in a net inflow of 232 tons (7.46 million ounces) in the third quarter, compared to 105 tons in the same time frame a year ago.

The figures, compiled independently for the council by GFMS Ltd, a precious metals consultancy, show strong bar and coin buying in Swiss, German and U.S. markets.

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