Central banks slowed their gold purchases in February, snapping up 25 tons of the yellow metal against a combined 41 ton purchase in January, data from the World Gold Council showed.
The purchases were also outweighed by monthly sales by certain banks, pushing collective gold holdings of global central banks to decline by 16 tons on a net basis in February, the first decline since January 2015, noted London-based Capital Economics in a note.
Most of the purchases were by China and Russia, who added 10 and 11 tons of the precious metal to their holdings, respectively, after a sharp run-up in purchases over the last ten years.
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