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    Russia Continues to See Gold as Good Bet Amid Currency Turbulence

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    Will Gold Beat Dollar for Number One? (11)
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    The Russian central bank has increased its gold purchases, while the precious metal continues to attract emerging market investors seeking to diversify their assets due to turbulence in global markets.

    MOSCOW, January 30 (Sputnik) Russia has continued to top the list of countries buying gold, adding 20.73 metric tons of the precious metal to its reserves in December, according to IMF data analyzed by GFMS Thomson Reuters.

    The purchases have brought the country's total gold reserves to 1,208.23 metric tons, and continued the Russian central bank's nine-month trend of buying the precious metal in order to support the ruble and lessen dependence on the US dollar. The Financial Times reports that GFMS estimates that in the first 11 months of 2014, the bank bought 152 metric tons of gold and accounted for about one-third of gold purchases by central banks last year.

    Azerbaijan, Belarus and Kazakhstan were among other emerging market countries to increase their gold reserves, according to the report, as did Malaysia and Iran. "This is a clear positive for the gold price," Matthew Turner, a financial analyst from  Macquarie, an investment bank, told FT. "If central banks had not purchased that gold it would have been bought by private investors or jewelry consumers, and this would likely have required a lower gold price."

    According to the London Bullion Market Association, at 10.39 am on January 30, the price of gold  was $1,263.50 per troy ounce, having increased from $1,186.50 on December 30, 2014, and a low of $1,144.50 on November 6. However, according to the FT, GFMS's analysis precluded a further upswing in the trend for gold purchases, remarking that "it appears unlikely, given low international oil prices and growing deficits in many purchasing nations, that buying will accelerate," although it expects official sector purchases to continue.

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    Will Gold Beat Dollar for Number One? (11)

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