Gold demand in China, which overtook India as the largest user last year, will rise about 25 percent in the next four years as an increasing population gets wealthier, according to the World Gold Council.
Russian stocks climbed the most this month and bonds gained on speculation international talks will succeed at defusing tensions in Ukraine. Aluminum maker United Co. Rusal surged as it won a loan waiver.
Russia’s credit rating outlook was cut to negative by Fitch Ratings, citing the potential impact on a slowing economy of widening U.S. and European Union sanctions imposed as it absorbs Ukraine’s Crimea region.
China may have bought 300 metric tons of gold in the first half of this year to diversify its foreign- exchange reserves, the world’s largest, according to Philip Klapwijk of Precious Metals Insights Ltd.
Venezuela’s central bank increased its gold reserves 12 percent in the second half of 2010 while its reserves in foreign banks fell 37 percent in the period, according to the bank’s year-end financial report published in today’s Ultimas Noticias .
Brazil boosted gold reserves for a third month in November to double the country’s holdings since August as central banks from Russia to Belarus and South Korea add the metal to diversify their assets.