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Brazil’s Gold Reserves Rise For First Time Since 2008

Brazil increased its gold reserves for the first time since December 2008 at a time when investors raised holdings in exchange-traded products to a record.

Brazil’s holdings expanded 1.7 tons last month to 35.3 tons, data on the International Monetary Fund’s website showed. Turkey’s holdings increased 6.8 tons and Ukraine added 0.3 ton. Brazil’s central bank doesn’t comment on the policy of its reserve composition, it said in an e-mail.

Central banks have been expanding reserves after the metal climbed the past 11 years and investors held a record tons in bullion-backed exchange-traded products this month, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Nations bought 254.2 tons in the first half of 2012 and may add close to 500 tons for the year, the London-based World Gold Council said in August.

“We expect strong buying by central banks to continue,” said Dan Smith, a commodities analyst at Standard Chartered Plc in London. “They will be encouraged by lower prices and continued worries about inflation and currency risks.”

Turkey’s bullion holdings have increased due to it accepting gold in its reserve requirements from commercial banks. Russia’s reserves fell by 2.2 tons, Belarus by 1.5 tons, Czech Republic by 0.3 ton and Kazakhstan by 0.4 ton, the IMF data show.

Gold for immediate delivery rose 0.5 percent to $1,710.70 an ounce by 6:15 p.m. in London and has gained 9.4 percent this year. It’s averaged $1,751.03 so far this month, the third-highest ever.

“If a central bank like Brazil decides to enter the gold market, it will keep buying for a longer time horizon until an optimal share of gold holdings to total asset is reached,” said Bayram Dincer, an analyst at LGT Capital Management in Pfaeffikon, Switzerland. “This constant demand is price supportive.”

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