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Chinese foreign exchange reserves swell by $24bn to 2017-high

The Chinese central bank’s foreign exchange stockpile swelled by $24bn in May – the fourth consecutive month of increases, taking it to the highest level this year.

China’s FX reserves hit $3.0536tn in April, higher than a forecast of $3.0460tn compiled by Bloomberg.

Beijing’s authorities have been steadily re-accumulating foreign currency holdings following a sharp decrease in the war chest after the central bank stepped in to halt a depreciation in the renminbi in 2015 (see chart above).

The value of reserves to the end of May is likely to have been helped along by an easing in capital outflows and a slip in the US dollar over the period.

The greenback has tumbled to a seven-month low in recent weeks and declined 2.5 per cent in May.