Russia Buys More Gold as Price Nears 7-year High

Russia has added 6.22 tons of gold to its reserves in January, as the precious metal’s price came close to a 7-year high, reported.

The country’s total gold holdings amounted to 73.2 million troy ounces (2,276.8 tons) as of February 1, and are worth around $116 billion, according to the latest data from the Bank of Russia (CBR).

The bullion stockpile comes at a time of gold price skyrocketing to its highest levels since 2013, as traders have turned to traditional safe havens amid the coronavirus outbreak. The precious metal soared to $1619.20 per ounce on Thursday.

In recent months, Russia has been reshaping its international holdings, cutting the share of the U.S. dollar in favor of other currencies and gold. Last year, the Bank of Russia reported that the greenback’s share fell from 43.7 percent to 23.6 percent in twelve months from March 2018.

The coronavirus epidemic, which has disrupted China’s economic growth and further spread to other countries, could derail a “highly fragile” projected recovery in the global economy in 2020, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned on Wednesday.

Asian shares fell on Friday as worries about the coronavirus’ spread in Korea, Japan and Beijing drove investors to safe-havens such as the dollar, lifting it to three-year highs.

Spot gold was little changed at $1,619.33 per ounce by 0108 GMT Thursday. In the previous session, bullion prices had hit a seven-year high at $1,623.45.