Turkey’s central bank (CB) has raised its reported gold holdings by 5.692 tonnes in May to 244.986 tonnes, International Monetary Fund (IMF) data showed on Tuesday, as it joined a string of countries in increasing bullion reserves this year.
Kazakhstan lifted its gold reserves by 1.8 tonnes last month, the IMF’s international finance statistics report showed, having added 2.02 tonnes to its holdings in April. Ukraine increased its reserves by another 2.1 tonnes, after adding 1.4 tonnes the previous month.
Russia said last week that it had upped its gold reserves by 15.6 tonnes in May, to just over 911 tonnes.
Central banks, chiefly in Asian and developing nations, have increased gold purchases in recent years in a bid to diversify their foreign exchange holdings.
Gold buying by central banks hit its highest level since the mid-1960s in 2011, metals consultancy GFMS said in a report earlier this year.
Mexico, the Philippines and South Korea are among the other countries to have added to their gold holdings in recent months.
Turkey’s lira and stock market rose on Tuesday, underpinned by signs the government will stick to diplomatic channels to resolve the crisis with Syria over the shooting down of a Turkish jet.
The lira rose to 1.8172 against the dollar from 1.8224 late on Monday, also supported by a central bank repo tender that cut supplies of the currency.
Against its euro-dollar basket, the lira stood at 2.0461, firming from 2.0491 on Monday.
With the crisis following on Friday’s shooting by Syrian forces dominating sentiment, the main domestic focus for the market was a speech later in the day by Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan. Investors were also awaiting a NATO meeting called by Ankara in response to the incident.
“The lira’s performance is good despite the news about the downing of the Turkish jet. I expect the lira to trade between 1.8150-1.8250 versus the dollar. We will monitor global markets and the developments on Syria,” said a forex trader.
Syria described the shooting down as an act of self-defence and warned Turkey and NATO against retaliatory measures. Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said late on Monday Syria’s action “would not go unpunished”.
The lira weakened sharply in late trade on Friday after news of the shooting down emerged.
On the money market, the central bank said it would inject 1 billion lira ($549 million) into the market in a one-week repo, lower than the 3 billione-week tender maturing on Tuesday, in a move seen supporting the lira.