The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) sold 1.82 million taels (69.9 tonnes) of gold during 76 auctions in 2013.

It will continue these sales in 2014 in an attempt to further stabilise the domestic market and address imbalances between supply and demand.

The gold was largely sold to credit institutions to help close outstanding gold deposits. Other sales were made to gold firms to meet market demands.

The sales reduced local gold prices to 34.6-34.7 million VND (1,641-1,646 USD) per tael at the end of 2013, down 12 million VND (569.28 USD) per tael, or 24 percent against the year-end in 2012. Each tael equals 1.2 troy ounces.

The gold auctions have been used by the central bank to battle speculative activity in the market, minimise gold imports and increase foreign reserves. Gold auctions are among the tools it used to regulate the gold market.

In the first trading day of the new year on January 2, local gold prices were up 160,000 VND per tael (7.5 USD), or 0.38 percent, to 34.82-34.9 million VND (1,651-1,655 USD), driven by the increasing trend of world gold.

Meanwhile, on the trading floor, gold was selling at 1,223.20 USD per ounce. Reuters said gold futures jumped 2 percent on January 2 as bargain hunters resurfaced.

Gold plunged 28 percent in 2013, ending a 12-year bull run, after the US Federal Reserve announced plans to unwind the ultra-loose monetary policy starting in January 2014, tarnishing the metal's appeal as a hedge against inflation. The gold price was nearly 700 USD below a record hit in 2011.

The SBV also said that the implementation of the policy had significantly stablised foreign exchange rates. Commercial banks yesterday quoted the US dollar at 21,115-21,130 VND, which was almost unchanged against one week ago.

The central bank's governor, Nguyen Van Binh, last month announced that he would flexibly manage the exchange rate within a 2 percent margin this year.

In 2013, the SBV planed a 1 percent margin in foreign exchange management, but the actual margin was about 0.6 percent.-VNA