China_2787733bChina’s “unfolding credit crunch” is having an unforeseen and dramatic impact on gold prices as investors urgently stock up on the precious metal as a form of financial protection against a sharp correction in the world’s second largest economy. This is the main reason why gold prices have unexpectedly shot up more than 10pc to breach $1,300 (£776) an ounce for the first time since November against the prevailing forecasts for weaker demand made by many industry experts at the beginning of the year, according to Adrian Ash, head of research at gold trading platform BullionVault.com. Gold traded on the Shanghai Gold Exchange has also reached a three-month high. Rebounding is part of the reason for the rise, said Ash, adding: “Gold lost 30pc and silver nearly 40pc last year. The world economy will struggle to deliver all the good news priced in by that crash. But China’s unfolding credit-crunch looks central right now.” Uncertainty is growing over China’s ability to sustain the rapid rates of economic growth it has seen over the past decade amid concern over high-levels of debt among its provincial governments. These concerns have helped to drive sharp falls across emerging markets since the beginning of the year. More