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Central banks hedging against geopolitical risk with gold

Large stashes are a handy weapon against currency jitters and US pressure

TOKYO -- Central banks around the world are adding to their gold stashes, particularly in emerging markets, as they try to shore up their currencies amid rising geopolitical tensions and, in some cases, to stave off U.S. economic pressure.

The total amount of central bank holdings of gold has risen by about 7% over the five years to 2016, according to the World Gold Council, a global trade group. Last year, central banks were net buyers of gold, for the seventh year in a row, according to Thomson Reuters GFMS. As of the end of July, they held some 33,400 tons of gold reserves in all.

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