Kazakhstan, Tajikistan add to gold reserves in Feb - IMF

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Malaysia were among countries that added to their gold reserves in February, the International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday.

Kazakhstan added about 2.7 tonnes last month to bring its total gold reserves to 196.1 tonnes, while Malaysia and Tajikistan added around 0.6 tonnes each, data on IMF’s website showed.

Russia, the world’s fifth biggest holder of gold reserves, kept its holdings largely unchanged at about 1,207.7 tonnes. Russia had added to its reserves for nine straight months to December, followed by a small cut in January.

Turkey’s gold holdings fell by roughly 4.5 tonnes to 510.3 tonnes. The Turkish central bank counts gold held with commercial banks as part of the country’s reserves.

Central bank buying and selling can have a significant influence on gold prices. Central banks became net buyers in 2010 after two decades as net sellers, driven by an increased interest in gold in the wake of the 2008 global economic crisis.

Gold prices XAU= fell over 5 percent in February, the biggest monthly decline since September, on expectations that the Federal Reserve would soon hike U.S. interest rates.

Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Richard Pullin