SEOUL, Aug. 12 (Yonhap) — The daily turnover of South Korea’s gold market hit a record high in July amid a surge in trade in the precious metal, the local exchange said Wednesday.

The market’s daily turnover averaged 13.1 billion won (US$11.1 million) in July, more than double the amount of 5.2 billion won the previous month, according to the Korea Exchange (KRX).

It marks the largest-ever turnover since March 2014, when the KRX gold market opened, and far exceeds the previous record of 9.7 billion won set in August 2019.

As of Tuesday, this year’s cumulative turnover came to 1.1 trillion won, surpassing the 1 trillion-won threshold for the first time.

The gold market’s daily trading volume averaged 176 kilograms last month, also a record high.

Analysts attributed active gold trading to rising demand amid soaring prices sparked by low interest rates and strong investor appetite for assets in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

A gram of gold changed hands at 80,100 won ($67.60) on July 28, passing the 80,000 won mark for the first time.

“Gold prices have been rising sharply due to greater demand for safe-haven assets following the coronavirus crisis,” said Shinyoung Securities analyst Hwang Hyun-soo. “Prices of the yellow metal are expected to go up in the mid- and long term amid ultra-low interest rates globally.”

Gold prices in South Korea have been hovering in the high 70,000-won range this month, with the market’s daily turnover and trading volume reaching 19.1 billion won and 243 kg, much higher than July levels.