S. Korea’s forex reserves hit record high in Oct on weak U.S. dollar

2019.11.05 11:19:51

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South Korea’s foreign reserves surged to a fresh high last month, helped by the weakening of the U.S. dollar.

The country’s foreign exchange reserves reached $406.3 billion as of late October, up $3 billion from the previous month to beat the previous high of $405.5 billion set in January, according to the Bank of Korea Tuesday.

The rise is largely due to the weakening of the U.S. dollar, which helped lift the dollar-equivalent value of foreign exchange assets held in other currencies, the BOK explained.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the value of the U.S. dollar relative to the world’s six major currencies – the euro, Japanese yen, Canadian dollar, British pound, Swedish krona and Swiss franc – fell 1.5 percent on month in October to 97.65, meaning the dollar weakened against others in the currency basket.

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As of late September, Korea had the ninth-largest foreign currency reserves in the world after China, Japan, Switzerland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Hong Kong and India.

Foreign exchange reserves held in securities, including government and corporate bonds, accounted for 92 percent of the total at $373.8 billion. Deposits made up 5.3 percent at $21.7 billion and gold 1.2 percent at $4.79 billion.

Special drawing rights from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) came to $3.37 billion (0.8 percent) and IMF reserve position $2.67 billion (0.7 percent).

By Song Min-geun and Kim Hyo-jin

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