LONDON (Commodity Online): Investors in India are waking up to the power of gold. In a recent survey, it has come out that Asian investors are more likely to buy gold in the next six months than their North American and European counterparts.

According to a report in Economic Times, research company Ipsos said a quarter of the 18,594 investors interviewed for its inaugural monthly survey said they were somewhat or very likely to invest in gold as a security or physical metal as opposed to jewelry in the next six months.

Gold prices have retreated from the all-time high it hit in late June amid fears that a European debt crisis might spread, but it remains more than 7 per cent higher year to date.

Among investors who said they would buy gold in the next six months, 47 per cent said they would invest gold to protect their wealth, and 53 per cent said they intended to profit from gold investments.

Historically, gold is viewed as a safe haven in times of economic uncertainty. It has almost quintupled from just $250 an ounce in 2001. Adjusted for inflation, analysts said gold is still far below its record high at above $2,300 an ounce.

About three-quarters of the respondents in India and Indonesia, the world's second and fourth most populous countries, and more than half of those in China said they could invest in the yellow metal.

Only 11 per cent of investors surveyed in North America and 7 per cent in Europe said gold investment would be likely.

Hindu festival of Dhanteras and the Muslim holiday of Eid-al-Fitr, both scheduled in the second half of the year, are traditionally major gold-buying events.

About one in 10 respondents said that they had bought gold in the past six months. Gold rallied to an all-time high at $1,264.90 an ounce on June 21. Since then, the precious metal has lost 7 per cent as safe-haven buying faded on signs of economy recovery.

Ipsos said the online survey was conducted between June 7 to June 20 in 24 countries which represent 75 per cent of the world's gross domestic product.