Start the conversation
Gold prices today touched over $1,346 an ounce – continuing this week's rise to the highest level in three weeks.
This move came despite news that larger investors are no longer investing in gold as much as earlier this year.
Billionaire investor George Soros sold his entire position in the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEArca: GLD) in the second quarter of 2013. Another billionaire investor, John Paulson, reduced his holdings in GLD by 53% in Q2.
And speculators in gold ETFs have sold roughly 650 metric tons of gold so far this year.
These moves didn't faze analysts familiar with the gold market – and didn't change their bullish outlook on gold prices.
Marcus Grubb, managing director of investment at the World Gold Council (WGC), told CNBC, "We feel that speculative money (ETF trading) has largely come out of the gold market. We feel that gold is nearer the bottom than the top right now. You'll see a stronger market towards the end of the year, and into next year."
So who is left investing in gold?
Look to the East…
China, India, and the Case for Investing in Gold
The World Gold Council revealed that the gold was absorbed by China's 85% rise in total gold demand in the second quarter of 2013, along with India's 71% rise in total demand.
Grubb said, "The gold that has come out of (ETFs) has gone into strong hands, because it's obviously gone East into mainly jewelry, bar and coin demand in India and China. A huge amount of demand coming from India and China has underpinned the market at this level."
He highlighted to CNBC one area for his optimism on investing in gold in the months ahead – he said China's move toward a more consumer-driven economy will drive demand for physical gold in the country even higher.
The World Gold Council currently forecasts that Chinese demand for gold will hit 1,000 metric tons this year. It says growth is coming from both investment demand and jewelry demand.
The increased demand is evidenced by the physical deliveries of gold from the Shanghai Gold Exchange, which in the first half of 2013 exceeded all of last year's.
Numbers from the China Gold Association (CGA) are equally impressive…