Home Business Global forex reserves shrink by $1 trillion in record fall

Global forex reserves shrink by $1 trillion in record fall

World currency reserves fell by $ 1 trillion in record fall

Global forex reserves are falling at the fastest pace on record, as central banks from India to the Czech Republic intervene to support their currencies.

This year reserves fell by nearly $1 trillion, or 7.8 percent, to $12 trillion, the biggest drop since Bloomberg compiled the data in 2003.

Part of the slowdown is simply due to a change in valuation. As the dollar rose to a two-decade high against other reserve currencies such as the euro and yen, it reduced the dollar value of holdings in these currencies.

But dwindling reserves also reflect tensions in the money market which is forcing a growing number of central banks to plunge into their war chests to contain depreciation.


For example, India’s reserves have declined by $96 billion to $538 billion this year. country’s central bank Told The change in asset valuation accounted for a 67 per cent decline in reserves during the fiscal year from April, meaning the rest came from interventions to move the currency forward.

The rupee has depreciated nearly 9 per cent against the dollar this year and hit a record low last month.

In its first intervention to support the currency since 1998, Japan spent nearly $20 billion to slow the yen’s slide in September. This year reserves will account for about 19 percent of the loss. A currency intervention in the Czech Republic helped reduce reserves there by 19 percent since February.

“It’s part of a list of canary symptoms in a coal mine,” said Axel Merck, chief investment officer at Merck Investments. “The cracks are visible. And those red flags will come at an increasing pace. ,

While the magnitude of the decline is extraordinary, the practice of using reserves to protect currencies is nothing new. When there is an influx of foreign capital, central banks buy dollars and build up their reserves to slow the currency’s growth. In bad times, they attract reserves to cushion the blow from the flight of capital.

“Some countries, especially in Asia, can go both ways, leaving pockets of weakness and strength,” said Alan Ruskin, chief international strategist at Deutsche Bank AG.

Most central banks still have enough firepower to continue to intervene, if they choose to.

Foreign reserves in India are still 49 per cent higher than 2017 levels, and sufficient to pay for nine months of imports.

Central banks including Indonesia, Malaysia, China and Thailand will release their latest forex reserves data on Friday.

But for others, they are quickly exhausting. Bloomberg data shows that after a 42 per cent decline this year, Pakistan’s reserves of $14 billion are not enough to cover three months of imports.

– With assistance from Marcus Wong.


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