South Korea’s foreign reserves decrease for three months

Seoul, Feb 3 (IANS) South Korea’s foreign currency reserves reduced for three months through January due to strong US dollar that decreased the dollar-denominated value of non-dollar assets, central bank data showed on Wednesday.

Foreign reserves reached $367.29 billion as of end-January, down $0.67 billion from the previous month, Xinhua cited the Bank of Korea as showing. It marked three straight months of decline.

Investment returns kept rising, but the stronger US dollar reduced the converted value of non-dollar assets, especially the British pound, the BOK said.

The dollar turned upward on expectations for further interest rate hike in the US following the first rate hike in almost a decade in December 2015.

The country’s foreign currency reserves consisted of $336.39 billion of securities, $21.47 billion of deposits, $4.79 billion of gold bullion, $3.23 billion of special drawing rights and $1.41 billion of International Monetary Fund positions.

As of end-December, South Korea ranked the world’s seventh largest holder of foreign reserves.

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