Yen Reaches 14-Year High in Global Reserves as China Data Emerge

Japan’s currency is taking a larger share of global foreign exchange reserves, in a pattern that’s coinciding with the International Monetary Fund gradually incorporating China’s holdings into its published data.

The yen is now at its highest proportion since the end of 2002. In the second quarter, it accounted for $429 billion out of the $9.26 trillion worth of reserve holdings for which the IMF specifies the currency allocation. While total reserves stood at $11.12 trillion, the fund reveals the currency breakdowns for only 83.3 percent of that, per agreement with members who prefer not to report their ratios.

The share of reserves with the allocation identified has risen from 81.1 percent in the first quarter. After years of keeping its allocations private, China is now letting the IMF incorporate its ratios into the global data -- but staggering the inclusion over a two-to-three-year period to prevent observers from determining the exact makeup of the country’s world-record holdings.

Japan’s currency is the third-largest component of global reserves in the IMF data, after the dollar and euro. China’s yuan slots in in seventh place, also being behind the pound and Australian and Canadian dollars.

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