An international consortium led by the People’s Bank of China has been meeting with various banks to discuss the potential for gold to enter the global market in the future.
China’s Central Bank said on Friday that the country had agreed to open up its gold market to a broader international consortium.
“The country has made a strong decision to open the gold market and will soon be able to exchange gold for gold futures, a market which has become more competitive,” the PBOC said.
The PBOC’s announcement came ahead of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) annual meeting in the Chinese city of Hangzhou, where the bank has also held talks with the World Gold Council.
The group, which includes the US and the European Union, is also discussing setting up a gold price benchmark to help ensure the global price of gold is set on a level that can be maintained, a source familiar with the discussions told AFP.
A global benchmark would allow traders to gauge the price of precious metals as the world’s reserve currency.
The announcement comes as gold prices have risen sharply over the past month.
The global market is now worth more than $US10,000 an ounce, compared with $US7,000 on March 27.
Gold futures traded at US$1,873.35 an ounce at 8:30am GMT (3:30pm local time) on Friday.
China is the world leader in gold and the world reserve currency, with a global reserve of $US20 trillion.