NEW DELHI: After adding gold to its reserves for three straight months, the Reserve Bank of India paused the purchase of the yellow metal in January, the World Gold Council has said, citing International Monetary Fund's International Financial Statistics data. Gold prices surged to a near seven-year high of $1,615.70 an ounce in January in international markets.

In 2019, the RBI bought 34.5 tn gold, compared with 42.3 tn in 2018. Its gold reserves stand at 635 tn, the 10th largest in the world. As a percentage of the RBI's reserves, gold holding fell to 6.9% in January from 7.0% in December.

Gold is considered a haven asset, especially during turbulence in global financial markets. Concern over the outlook on global economic growth has grown in recent months, leading the RBI to turn to gold as an alternative asset.

RBI began buying gold in December 2017 after a gap of eight years. In its annual report for 2017-18 (Jul-Jun), the RBI said it continued to look for opportunities to diversify India's foreign currency assets.

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