Singapore/Hong Kong — China’s growing throng of affluent consumers is driving a rebound in demand for gold rings, bracelets and necklaces as a property boom and high stock market valuations boost wealth in the largest bullion market. "Things are much more positive than they were this time last year," said Nikos Kavalis, London-based director of research firm Metals Focus. The jewellery market had bottomed out after three years of declines, he said. Colleagues who visited the southern commercial hub of Shenzhen in early January told him showrooms were quite busy and wholesalers expected clients to return to replenish their stocks before Lunar New Year in the middle of February. China’s demand for gold jewellery climbed 10% last year to almost 700 tonnes, as the wealthy increased purchases and consumption improved in second- and third-tier cities, according to the China Gold Association. Buying of ornaments represented more than 60% of the 1,090 tonnes of gold consumed in China last y...

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