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Once Over $12 Trillion, the World’s Currency Reserves Are Now Shrinking

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Shrinking Currency Reserves Threaten Emerging Asia

The decade-long surge in foreign-currency reserves held by the world’s central banks is coming to an end.

Global reserves declined to $11.6 trillion in March from a record $12.03 trillion in August 2014, halting a five-fold increase that began in 2004, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. While the drop may be overstated because the strengthening dollar reduced the value of other reserve currencies such as the euro, it still underlines a shift after central banks -- with most of them located in developing nations like China and Russia -- added an average $824 billion to reserves each year over the past decade.