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European central banks agree to lower gold sales ceiling

Gold bulls were given a psychological boost yesterday as European central banks announced a lower ceiling than expected for their bullion sales over the next five years, reducing their annual quota by 20 per cent to 400 tonnes.

The lower ceiling is a fresh sign that the “anti-gold” climate that was prevalent among central banks throughout the 1990s and in the early part of the current decade seems to be fading away. Bullion prices hit a 23-year low in 1999 after the Bank of England revealed it was selling a large chunk of its gold holdings.