Central Banks Move to Minimize Exposure to US Dollar

Banks add another net 13.9 tons of gold to their reserves

Image Credits: Mussi Katz, Flickr, Public Domain.

Central banks continue to gobble up gold.  Globally, the world’s central banks added another net 13.9 tons of gold to their reserves in July.

While this was the lowest net increase in global central bank reserves since August 2017, the number was skewed downward by a significant gold sell-off by Uzbekistan. Gross purchases by the world’s central banks came in at 36.4 tons, according to the latest data released by the World Gold Council.

The World Gold Council bases its data on information submitted to the International Monetary Fund.

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The usual suspects continue to lead the gold-buying spree, with Russia adding another 12.2 tons of gold to its reserves. That pushes its purchases on the year to just over 106 tons. China boosted its hoard by another 10 tons. It was the eighth straight month of gold purchases for the People’s Bank of China.

Other  gold-buyers in July were:

  • EBC  – 0.2 tons
  • Greece – 0.1 ton
  • Kazakhstan – 4.6 tons
  • Kyrgyz Republic – 0.4 ton
  • Malta – 0.1 ton
  • Mongolia – 1.1 tons
  • Serbia – 0.1 ton
  • Turkey – 6.6 tons
  • The United Arab Emirates – 1.0 ton

Uzbekistan sold 22.4 tons of gold in July. Uzbek central bank Governor Mamarizo Nurmuratov announced earlier this year that he planned to purchase US and Chinese sovereign debt in order to diversify the nation’s $26 billion of international reserves away from gold as the country moves out of relative economic isolation.

According to the World Gold Council, a dozen central banks have increased their gold reserves by at least 1 ton through the first seven months of 2019.

Central bank gold purchases in April continue a trend we saw through 2018. In total, the world’s central banks accumulated 651.5 tons of gold last year. The World Gold Council noted that 2018 marked the highest level of annual net central bank gold purchases since the suspension of dollar convertibility into gold in 1971, and the second-highest annual total on record.

A move to minimize exposure to the US dollar, especially by countries like Russia and China, is driving this central bank gold-buying spree.

Peter Schiff has talked about central bank gold-buying. He has noted that the US went off the gold standard in 1971, but he thinks the world is going to go back on it.

“The days where the dollar is the reserve currency are numbered and we’re going back to basics. You know, everything old is new again. Gold was money in the past and it will be money again in the future, and central banks that are smart enough to read that writing on the wall are increasing their gold reserves now.”

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