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India buys half of IMF’s gold for sale

MUMBAI/WASHINGTON, Nov 3 (Reuters) – The International Monetary Fund has sold 200 tonnes of gold to the Reserve Bank of India for $6.7 billion, quietly executing half of a long-planned bullion sale that has threatened to slow gold’s ascent.

The deal, which surprised traders who expected China to be the most likely buyer, will relieve the gold market of some uncertainty over how and when the IMF would sell 403.3 tonnes of gold, about one-eighth of its total stock. The deal will increase India’s gold holdings to the tenth largest among central banks.

It also fuelled speculation that other governments — including Beijing — may be ready to diversify their reserves even at near-record gold prices, helping soak up IMF supply that the fund may otherwise be forced to sell on the open market.

“Central banks in India and China will be happy to accumulate gold at these levels. I will not be surprised to see even some Southeast Asian banks buying gold,” Aaron Smith, Asia head of the $1.65 billion technical trading fund Superfund, told Reuters.


Spot gold prices XAU= earlier rose by nearly one percent, but later reversed those gains to trade little changed at around $1,058 an ounce on Tuesday, within striking distance of last month’s $1,070.40 record despite a rallying dollar. Traders said the IMF news could add to the market’s upward momentum.

“Its potentially bullish from several points of view,” said Commerzbank analyst Eugen Weinberg. “Gold was kept off the market and sold directly to cental banks so potential sales on market are limited by this.”

“Secondly, it showed large buyers are ready to accept the current price levels. Thirdly, the central banks are increasing their gold reserves. Last but not least the central bank gold agreement sales of 400 tonnes … is half empty already.”

via WRAPUP 2-India buys half of IMF’s gold for sale; who’s next? | Markets | Markets News | Reuters.

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