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Gold Advances for Second Time in Three Days as Central Banks Buy

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Nov. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Gold gained for the second time in three days as central banks increased holdings and rising tension in the Middle East boosted demand for the precious metal as an investment haven.

Bullion holdings linked to exchange-traded products rose to a record. Brazil, Kazakhstan and Russia added to gold reserves last month, data on the International Monetary Fund’s website show. The week-long conflict in the Middle East continued with air strikes in Gaza and a blast that hit a bus in Tel Aviv. A cease-fire accord was agreed to late in the day. Markets in the U.S. are closed tomorrow for the Thanksgiving holiday.

“Physical demand is showing some strength,” Frank Lesh, a trader at FuturePath Trading in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “Middle East tension is also pushing some people toward gold.”

Gold futures for December delivery rose 0.3 percent to settle at $1,728.20 an ounce at 1:39 p.m. on the Comex in New York. The precious metal has gained 10 percent this year.

Holdings in gold-backed exchange-traded products added 0.73 metric ton to a record 2,604.9 tons yesterday, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Assets and prices gained this year as central banks from the U.S. to Asia took steps to bolster economies.

Brazil added 17.2 tons to bullion reserves last month, Kazakhstan expanded them by 7.5 tons and Russia bought 0.4 ton, IMF data show.

Silver futures for December delivery climbed 1.3 percent to $33.35 an ounce in New York.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for January delivery rose 0.7 percent to $1,583.90 an ounce. Palladium futures for December delivery advanced 2 percent to $651.30 an ounce, the second increase in three days.

To contact the reporters on this story: Nicholas Larkin in London at nlarkin1@bloomberg.net; Debarati Roy in New York at droy5@bloomberg.net

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

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