The yellow metal is trading near three-month highs and has been above $1,100 per troy ounce for the last week and a half as global equity markets try to find their footing.
Gold is generally thought to move in the opposite direction of the U.S. dollar and interest rates. It was little changed at $1,174.40 an ounce, near the highest level since October. The metal surged Friday after the U.S. jobless rate slid to a 2008 low and hourly earnings rose more than estimated, bolstering the case for the Federal Reserve to tighten monetary policy.
Russia, the sixth-biggest holder of the metal, more than tripled its hoard since 2005 and holds the most metal since at least 1993, International Monetary Fund data show. It’s been steadily buying bullion even as international sanctions over the Ukrainian conflict and a plunge in oil prices contributed to a collapse in the ruble. Gold priced in rubles jumped 60 percent in the past year.Russia added about 13 tons in July and 24 tons the month before that. China, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Belarus are among other nations that have been accumulating gold.Gold remains a large part of many central banks’ reserves, decades after they stopped using it to back paper money. Nations globally have expanded holdings in the past few years, a reversal from two decades of selling since the late 1980s.