Forex reserves strong in Jan.

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Forex reserves strong in Jan.

Korea’s foreign exchange reserves rose to a five-month high in January as the stronger euro and other nondollar currencies increased the conversion value of those assets, the central bank said yesterday.

The country’s foreign reserves reached $311.34 billion last month, up $4.94 billion from the previous month, according to the Bank of Korea.

The January foreign reserves stood at the second-highest level in history since they hit a record high of $312.19 billion last August. It was also a rebound from the second consecutive month of decline.

“The conversion value of nondollar assets increased with an ascent in the euro and the pound,” Shin Jae-hyuk, an economist at the BOK, told reporters. “Gold bullion stayed at the same level as the previous month.”

In January, the euro appreciated 1.1 percent to the dollar as the Fed’s low rate pledge and progress in tackling the euro zone crisis gave a boost to the currency. The British pound rose 1.4 percent against the greenback last month, and the Japanese yen edged up 0.9 percent.

Korea held 36.3 percent of its foreign reserves in nondollar assets as of the end of 2010, the latest available data. Yonhap

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