UPDATE 1-Brazil raises gold holdings by 28 pct in Nov - IMF data

Thu Dec 20, 2012 6:35pm EST

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Dec 20 - Brazil raised its gold holdings by 14.68 tonnes, or 28 percent, in November, bringing its bullion reserves to 67.19 tonnes, data from the International Monetary Fund showed on Thursday.

The IMF's monthly statistics report also showed that Turkey cut its gold holding last month by 5.84 tonnes to 314 tonnes from October.

Turkey allows commercial banks to use gold as collateral for loans, and changes to its balance sheet are often connected to such activity.

Belarus upped its reserves by 1.39 tonnes to 42.7 tonnes, while Russia, which had both bought and sold gold on a number of occasions this year, increased its holding by 2.86 tonnes to 937.8 tonnes.

Central bank buying of gold has been a major support to gold prices, which hit record highs a year ago.

Prices have come under pressure from heavy liquidation by hedge funds this week and signs of an improving U.S. economy have triggered selling. They fell below $1,650 an ounce on Thursday for the first time since August.

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