SINGAPORE, Nov 22 (Reuters) - Germany, the world's second biggest holder of gold reserves, cut its bullion holdings in October for the second time in five months, data from the International Monetary Fund showed on Friday.
Gold holdings by central banks are keenly watched since the group became net buyers in 2010 after two decades as net sellers. The 2008 global economic crisis triggered a wave of official sector interest in gold.
Germany's central bank sold 3.421 tonnes last month and now holds 3,387.247 tonnes of gold, according to the IMF website.
Germany is the second biggest owner of gold assets after the United States, which holds 8,133.748 tonnes of bullion after a small increase of 0.033 tonnes in October.
Changes in central banks' buying and selling patterns tends to affect global gold prices.
In April, news that Cyprus, which holds less than 15 tonnes of gold, was looking to sell gold reserves to ease its financial burden sent spot prices falling by the most in 30 years.
Central banks added a total of 93.4 tonnes of gold to their reserves in the third quarter, which ended in September, bringing year-to-date purchases to almost 300 tonnes, the World Gold Council says.
The biggest monthly increase was by the Turkish central bank, although that is largely because it allowed commercial banks to hold a portion of their reserves in gold.
Turkey's bullion holdings rose 12.994 tonnes to 503.255 tonnes in October, in their fourth consecutive increase.
Greece, Luxembourg and Costa Rica were the others to raise holdings slightly, while Mexico, Australia and Uruguay cut by small amounts.
(Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Clarence Fernandez) Keywords: IMF GOLD/GERMANY
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