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Daily FX turnover hits record high in 2021 amid brisk exports, stock investment

Finance 12:00 January 26, 2022

SEOUL, Jan. 26 (Yonhap) -- The daily foreign exchange (FX) trading by banks in South Korea hit a record high in 2021 amid increased demand from strong exports, imports and foreigners' investment in local financial markets, central bank data showed Wednesday.

The daily FX turnover came to an average US$58.31 billion last year, up 10.3 percent from $52. 84 billion tallied a year earlier, according to the data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).

The amount marked the largest since 2008, when relevant statistics started to be compiled under revised rules.

The increase came from brisk exports and imports, which led to more foreign-currency transactions. Foreigners' increased investment in local stocks and bonds also played a role in boosting the daily FX turnover.

In 2021, the country's combined amount of exports and imports came to $1.26 trillion, up from the previous year's $980.1 billion. Foreigners also bought a net $38.7 billion worth of local stocks and bonds, more than a 10-fold rise from last year.

A BOK official said FX trading usually spikes when market volatility deepens, but last year's increase was not so much due to volatility as it was more demand for currency conversion from companies and investors.

The average daily turnover of foreign exchange spots reached $22.71 billion last year, up 11.8 percent from a year earlier. The daily average FX derivatives also increased 9.4 percent on-year to $35.59 billion.

In this file photo, a clerk sorts US$100 banknotes at the headquarters of Hana Bank in Seoul on Dec. 3, 2021. South Korea's foreign exchange reserves had come to US$463.91 billion as of end-November, marking the first drop in five months due to a decline in the dollar-converted value of assets denominated in other foreign currencies, central bank data showed. (Yonhap)


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