Yes, Chinese households and investors proved eager buyers, snapping up all that gold and more besides. Like a growing number of private investors in the West, they took the price crash to be an opportunity, adding to their gold holdings as a long-term investment.
But their demand leapt as a result of the price drop, and it was the positioning of speculative traders in US gold futures and options which weighed heaviest of all.*From a strongly bullish stance, hedge funds and other leveraged players as a group raised their betting against gold prices to the highest level since 1999, the very low of gold's two-decade bear market.
2013's deafening chorus of bearish forecasts from bank analysts also matches that historic turning point.