South Korea’s foreign exchange reserves fell $1.22 billion in April to $404 billion from the previous month due to a stronger U.S. dollar, the Bank of Korea said Tuesday.
The reserves had retreated in February before edging up in March, only to slip back again last month. The decline was largely due to the strengthening of the greenback, which pushed down the value of other currencies held in the country’s foreign reserves.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the value of the U.S. dollar relative to a basket of six major world currencies, was 97.86 as of the end of April, up 0.7 percent from a month earlier. The euro lost 0.4 percent against the dollar. The pound and yen were also 0.9 percent lower and the Australian dollar down 0.3 percent.
The value of foreign securities, including government bonds and corporate debts, stood at $374.2 billion, down $3.34 billion on month. Special drawing rights, which are supplementary foreign exchange reserve assets created by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), were $180 million lower at $3.18 billion.
Deposits denominated in foreign currency totaled $19.4 billion, up $2.11 billion.
The country’s reserve position in the IMF rose $190 million to $2.51 billion. The value of gold remained the same at $4.79 billion.
As of late March, Korea held the world’s ninth-largest amount of foreign reserves. The country’s ranking fell a notch from the previous month as it lost the seat to India, whose reserves surged by $10.5 billion in a month to total $412.9 billion. China topped the list with $3.99 trillion, followed by Japan at $1.29 trillion and Switzerland at $808.8 billion.
By Kim Yeon-joo and Kim Hyo-jin
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