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S. Korea's FX reserves inch up in March

All Headlines 06:00 April 03, 2019

SEOUL, April 3 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's foreign currency holdings rebounded to record slight growth in March, central bank data showed Wednesday.

The total value of the country's foreign exchange reserves came to US$405.25 billion as of the end of March, up $580 million from the previous month, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK).

It is a turnaround from the on-month drop last month, when the figure fell from the record-high amount logged in January.

The growth is mainly attributable to an increase in the operating income of foreign currency assets, the BOK noted.

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.

In March, the U.S. dollar index rose 1.1 percent on-month against the currencies of six major economies, while the euro and Japanese yen fell 1.3 percent and 2.0 percent against the greenback, respectively.

The value of foreign securities, such as government bonds and corporate debts, amounted to $377.50 billion last month, down $1.61 billion from a month earlier.

Foreign currency-denominated deposits, however, added $2.06 billion on-month to reach $17.27 billion in March.

The country's reserve position at the IMF increased slightly to $2.32 billion as of the end of March from the previous month's $2.18 billion, while holdings in gold bullion were unchanged at $4.79 billion during the same period, the central bank said.

At the end of January, 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.

The Bank of Korea in downtown Seoul (Yonhap)

graceoh@yna.co.kr
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