* Russia adds more then 230,000 ounces in Aug
* Kazakhstan has biggest jump in holdings for month so far (Adds details of central bank purchases, analyst comment)
By A. Ananthalakshmi
SINGAPORE, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Russia added to its gold holdings for a fifth month in a row in August, while Kazakhstan raised its holdings by nearly 800,000 ounces, data from the International Monetary Fund showed on Thursday.
Significant buying and selling by central banks can influence gold prices, which are currently near an 8-1/2-month low on a strong dollar and robust economic data.
Central banks became net buyers in 2010 after two decades as net sellers, as the global economic crisis of 2008 had prompted them to start hoarding bullion.
“I definitely see the trend of central bank purchases continuing,” said Harshal Barot, an analyst at Motilal Oswal Securities in Mumbai.
“It is the one good factor I believe that will help gold prices form a floor, even though it might not lead to a rally,” he said.
Russia, the world’s fifth-largest bullion holder, added 232,510.206 ounces of gold in August to bring its total to 35.769 million ounces, according to data on the IMF’s website.
Kazakhstan boosted its gold holdings by 795,213.655 ounces last month to 5.848 million ounces - the biggest jump among countries that had reported monthly data to the IMF by 0438 GMT.
Turkey, which counts gold deposits with commercial banks as part of its national holdings, added 96,783.224 ounces. Azerbaijan increased gold holdings by a similar amount.
Ukraine, which has been involved in a conflict with pro-Moscow separatists in the east, added 10,000 ounces of gold to its reserves - its first increase since April.
Czech Republic and Mexico sold small quantities.
Buying by the state reached a 48-year high in 2012, according to the World Gold Council, but dropped to a three-year low last year, due in part to price volatility.
Gold prices were trading just above $1,210 an ounce on Thursday, nearly 40 percent lower from an all-time high of $1,920.30 reached in September 2011. (Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Tom Hogue)