Korea’s foreign reserves drop on strong dollar

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Korea’s foreign reserves drop on strong dollar

Korea’s foreign currency holdings dropped slightly last month amid a strong U.S. dollar trend, central bank data showed Monday.

The total value of the country’s foreign exchange reserves came to $402.75 billion as of the end of October, down $250 million from a record $403 billion in the previous month, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK).

Foreign exchange reserves consist of securities and deposits denominated in overseas currencies, as well as International Monetary Fund reserve positions, special drawing rights and gold bullion.

The BOK said that the recent strength of the U.S. dollar decreased the value of non-dollar currencies when converted into the greenback.

In October, the U.S. dollar index rose 2.2 percent on-month against the currencies of six major economies.

The value of foreign securities, such as government bonds and corporate debt, amounted to $375.78 billion last month, up $150 million from a month earlier.

Foreign currency-denominated deposits fell $440 million on month to $16.71 billion in October.

The country’s reserve position at the IMF stood at $2 billion at the end of October, while holdings in gold bullion were also unchanged at $4.79 billion during the same period, the central bank said.

As of the end of September, Korea ranked eighth in the world in terms of the amount of foreign reserve holdings.

China topped the list, followed by Japan, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia and Taiwan, according to the BOK.

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