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S. Korea's FX reserves hit another record high in Jan.

Finance 06:00 February 08, 2019

SEOUL, Feb. 8 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's foreign exchange reserves rose to a new record high last month on a weakening U.S. dollar trend, central bank data showed Friday.

The total value of foreign currency holdings reached a record US$405.51 billion as of end-January, up $1.82 billion from a month earlier, according to the data by the Bank of Korea (BOK).

It is the second month in a row that the country's monthly FX reserves broke the earlier record following one in December.

Foreign exchange reserves consist of securities and deposits denominated in overseas currencies, as well as International Monetary Fund reserve positions, special drawing rights and gold bullion.

The BOK said the recent depreciation of the U.S. dollar increased the value of non-dollar currencies when converted into the greenback.

In January, the U.S. dollar index retreated 1.1 percent on-month against the currencies of six major economies.

The value of foreign securities, such as government bonds and corporate debts, amounted to $380.25 billion last month, up $650 million from a month earlier.

Foreign currency-denominated deposits expanded $1.17 billion on-month to $14.9 billion last month.

The country's reserve position at the IMF stood at $2.18 billion at the end of January, while holdings in gold bullion were unchanged at $4.79 billion during the same period, the central bank said.

As of end-December, South Korea ranked eighth in the world in terms of the amount of foreign reserve holdings. China topped the list, followed by Japan, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia and Russia, according to the BOK.

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brk@yna.co.kr
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