BEIJING: China’s gold reserves rose by more than 19 tonnes in July, the official Xinhua news agency said on Saturday, after the central bank last month gave the statistic for the first time in six years.
Bullion holdings stood at 1,677.30 tonnes at the end of July, Xinhua said citing the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), a 1.16 per cent increase on June’s 1,658 tonnes.
The rise is worth nearly $700 million, according to Friday’s price of $1,118.25 an ounce on the London Bullion Market.
The PBoC issued gold reserve figures last month for the first time since April 2009, revealing a rise of 57pc over the past six years.
China is the world’s largest producer of the yellow metal, but the increase marked a slowdown in gold accumulation after holdings jumped 75pc from 2003 to 2009.
China ranks fifth globally in gold holdings, according to Bloomberg News.
The price of gold reached record highs near $1,800 in 2012 at the height of the United States’s bond-buying stimulus programme and the eurozone debt crisis, before falling significantly.
But the yellow metal is considered a safe bet in times of turmoil and uncertainty, and it rose last week after China devalued its yuan currency, raising concerns over the health of the world’s second-largest economy.
Beijing said the move was the result of switching to a more market-oriented method of calculating the daily reference rate which sets the value of the yuan.