Gold sales surged in Japan through March after the country’s move to set negative interest rates sent investors scurrying for a shelter, a further sign that global central bank policy of keeping borrowing costs low or below zero is stoking demand for bullion.
Bar sales climbed by 35% to 8,192 kilograms in the three months ended March 31 from a year earlier, Tanaka Kikinzoku Kogyo K.K., the country’s biggest bullion retailer, said in a statement Thursday.
Monetary authorities responsible for about two dozen countries have dropped policy rates below zero to try to revive economies. In a bid to stimulate lending, the Bank of Japan in January joined the European Central Bank in setting sub-zero rates, along with Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland. Low or negative rates raise the appeal of bullion as it’s not an interest-bearing asset.
The Europeans are also buying gold as a haven because of…