China's Reserves Extend Rising Streak Amid Yuan Stability

Updated on
  • World’s largest hoard climbed $10.1 billion to $3.12 trillion
  • Stockpile to hold stable as intervention tails off: ANZ’s Goh

China’s foreign-exchange reserves increased for a 10th month in November amid continued stability in the yuan.

The world’s largest foreign-currency stockpile climbed $10.1 billion to $3.12 trillion, the People’s Bank of China said Thursday, in line with estimates in Bloomberg’s survey.

Better sentiment around China’s currency and the capital controls that have been in place all year have helped rebuild the holding, which fell below $3 trillion in January for the first time since 2011. Still, outflow pressures loom, with monetary policy normalization in other major economies poised to reduce demand for emerging-market assets.

“Capital outflows seem to be well contained,” said Claire Huang, an economist at Societe Generale SA in Hong Kong. The bank forecasts slight yuan depreciation against the dollar in 2018.

The euro, yen and pound all strengthened during the month, lifting the value of assets denominated in those currencies when reported in dollars by the PBOC, according to Khoon Goh, head of Asia research at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. in Singapore.

“I expect reserves to be fairly stable,” Goh said. “As the authorities have largely ceased active FX intervention this year, changes in reserves will largely reflect valuation movements.”

Gains in non-dollar currencies and valuation effects were the main reasons for the increase, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange said in a statement. Market-oriented reforms, more balanced international payments and steady cross-border capital flows will all contribute to stable reserves, the regulator said.

— With assistance by Yinan Zhao, Kevin Hamlin, Xiaoqing Pi, and Miao Han

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