South Korea’s foreign exchange reserves hit a fresh record high in July, helped by appreciation in its non-dollar assets due to weakening in the greenback, the Bank of Korea data showed on Thursday.
Foreign exchange reserves as of the end of July totaled $383.76 billion, up $3.19 billion from the previous month. Foreign reserves have been increasing for the past four months, renewing historic highs in the last three months.
The central bank thanked the latest surge in national coffers to the weakening in the U.S. dollar due to political uncertainty and softening in U.S. economic data that strengthened the value in non-dollar assets.
The dollar against a basket of six major currencies fell 2.9 percent in July.
The euro gained 2.7 percent and the British pound 1.0 percent against the dollar last month. The yen was up 1.3 percent.
Foreign exchange reserves consist of securities, including government and corporate debt, and deposits as well as special drawing rights with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and gold bullion.
Securities holdings, which make up the bulk of foreign reserves at 92.4 percent, rose by $2.29 billion to $354.5 billion. Deposits gained $620 million to $19.38 billion. Special drawing rights - a form of global currency maintained by the IMF - stood at $3.29 billion, up $290 million. Gold reserves remained the same at $4.79 billion.
Korea had the world’s ninth-largest foreign exchange reserves as of end-June. China topped the list with $3.06 trillion, followed by Japan ($1.25 trillion), Switzerland ($772.4 billion), Saudi Arabia ($500.7 billion), Taiwan ($441.9 billion), Russia ($412.2 billion), Hong Kong ($408 billion) and India ($386.5 billion).
By Boo Jang-won
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