Russia's central bank posted data showing it did not add gold to its reserves for the first time in nine months in June, when bullion prices fell by more than 10 percent to their lowest in nearly three years.
Russia's gold reserves remained unchanged at 32 million troy ounces in June compared with May, the central bank said on its website on Friday. The bank declined to comment on the reason.
The value of the holdings fell to $38.6 billion as of July 1 from $45 billion a month earlier, it added.
According to Reuters data, the last time the bank did not add gold to its reserves was in September 2012, when they amounted to 30 million troy ounces. It bought gold in every month from October 2012 through May 2013.
Russia has been the biggest gold buyer in the official sector in the past decade. A shift by central banks from major sellers of bullion to net buyers has been a major support to the gold market in recent years.
Gold fell $200 an ounce in less than two weeks last month after the U.S. Federal Reserve signaled it was set to rein in its $85 billion in monthly asset purchases later this year and halt stimulus altogether by mid-2014.
Ultra-loose monetary policy, which kept long-term interest rates at rock bottom and stoked fears of inflation, was an important driver of the rise in gold prices to record highs in 2011.
The gold market regained some confidence following a series of comments from the Fed chief this month, attempting to break through strong technical resistance to briefly touch a three-week high of $1,300.61 on Wednesday.
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