Sat, 26 Oct 13:55:00 GMT
(Adds details for Russia, Turkey, background)
NEW YORK, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Turkey and Kazakhstan raised their gold holdings in September, while Russia's bullion reserves eased, according to preliminary data from the International Monetary Fund.
Investors are closely monitoring any possible shift in central bank attitudes toward gold after bullion prices rose to a three-month high above $1,430 an ounce on Aug. 28. Spot gold edged up 0.3 percent to $1,350 on Friday. [GOL/]
Turkey's central bank raised its gold holdings by 2.91 tonnes to 490.261 tonnes in September, extending its gold-buying trend to a third consecutive month, preliminary data from the International Monetary Fund showed.
Turkey, which has the world's 11th-largest gold reserve, also lifted its holdings by 23 tonnes in August to 487 tonnes. Turkey's central bank last year allowed commercial banks to hold a portion of their lira reserves in gold. [ID:nL4N0HL0YI]
Kazakhstan, the central Asian country which has been an active buyer in the official-gold sector, bought 2.5 tonnes gold to 137 tonnes in September, the IMF's International Financial Statistics report showed.
Russia, which has the world's seventh largest reserves of gold, reported a 0.4 tonne decrease in September to bring the country's total to 1,015.1 tonnes, according to the IMF's data.
In August, Russia boosted its holdings by about 13 tonnes to 1,016 tonnes, the biggest gain since December, the IMF data showed.
Bullion holdings by central banks are keenly watched by gold investors since the group became net buyers in 2010 after two decades as net sellers. The 2008 global economic crisis triggered resurgent official-sector interest in gold.
A change in central banks' buying and selling patterns tend to affect global gold prices.
In April, news that Cyprus was looking to sell gold reserves to ease its financial burden sent spot prices falling by the most in 30 years.
Year to date, gold was down 19 percent, at risk of an annual loss after 12 straight years of gains.
(Reporting by Frank Tang; Editing by Lisa Shumaker, Michael Perry and Vicki Allen)