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Gold Gains First Time in Four Days as Central Banks Buy

May 24 (Bloomberg) -- Gold futures advanced for the first time this week in New York as central banks increased their holdings.

Central banks, the world’s biggest holders of gold, continued to buy bullion in April as Turkey raised its reserves by 29.7 metric tons and Ukraine, Mexico and Kazakhstan boosted their holdings, International Monetary Fund data show.

“Reports about central banks buying are helping gold,” Frank McGhee, the head dealer at Integrated Brokerage Services LLC in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “We are also seeing some technical buying.”

Gold futures for June delivery rose 0.6 percent to settle at $1,557.50 an ounce at 1:46 p.m. on the Comex in New York. Prices have slumped 6.4 percent this month.

Holdings in the SPDR Gold Trust, the biggest bullion-backed exchange-traded fund, expanded 0.2 percent to 1,268.15 tons yesterday, after sliding 17.5 tons on May 22, the biggest such drop since Aug. 24, according to figures on the company’s website.

“Gold ETF investors have responded with remarkable calm to the price turbulences,” Commerzbank AG said in a report today. “A number of them already appear to be taking advantage of the weak price to expand their positions.”

Silver futures for July delivery jumped 2.3 percent to $28.157 an ounce on the Comex, the first gain since May 18.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for July delivery advanced 0.6 percent to $1,422.40 an ounce, the biggest gain since May 17. Palladium futures for June delivery slipped 0.6 percent to $587.50 an ounce, after touching $584.25, the lowest since Nov. 30.

To contact the reporters on this story: Debarati Roy in New York at droy5@bloomberg.net; Maria Kolesnikova in London at mkolesnikova@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net

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