China foreign reserves increase an 8th month

BeijingChina’s foreign-exchange reserves posted an eighth straight monthly rise in September, as the pressure of cash outflows eased further, amid capital controls and a stronger yuan.

The world’s largest foreign currency stockpile climbed US$17 billion (RM71.74 billion) to US$3.109 trillion, the People’s Bank of China said on Monday That compares to a US$3.1 trillion estimate in a Bloomberg survey The run of increases in the reserves is the longest since mid-2014, when the holdings peaked at US$4 trillion before declining through early this year.

China’s reserve position has stabilised after several years of declines, helped by resilient growth at home, capital curbs keeping overseas flows controlled, and more recently by appreciation of the yuan. Those factors may insulate China to some degree from the pressure implicit in rate increases by the US Federal Reserve.

“Reserves posted another moderate gain in September, reflecting continued efforts by the Chinese authorities to clamp down on corporate outbound mergers and acquisitions capital outflows,” said Rajiv Biswas, Asia-Pacific chief economist at IHS Markit in Singapore. Stabilising reserves is likely to remain a priority next year as rising US interest rates could weaken the yuan, he said.

“Reserves rose on the strong yuan in early September, and it’s likely to stay at a stable level in near future,” said Yao Shaohua, an economist at ABCI Securities Co in Hong Kong. — Bloomberg