zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden / Mar 7, 2017
With China’s “Two Sessions” currently taking place, and Beijing hard-pressed to report positive economic data (including banning the sale of stocks by some mutual funds according to Bloomberg), it was perhaps not surprising that overnight China reported that its foreign-currency reserves “unexpectedly” rose in February for the first time since June 2016, halting a seven-month decline, rebounding over the psychological $3 trillion level controls on capital outflows and a rally in the yuan. China’s foreign reserve holdings increased by $6.9 billion to $3.005 trillion last month the PBOC reported, exceeding the consensus estimate for a $30 billion decline to $2.969 trillion. According to Goldman calculations, after adjusting for currency valuation effects, reserves rose by about $19 billion.
Among the factors cited for the rebound in the world’s biggest FX reserve holdings are stronger economic growth, stricter capital controls and a stabilizing yuan. China’s reserves have shrunk by $1 trillion from a peak of $4 trillion in 2014 as Beijing has struggled to slow yuan depreciation. Following the positive data, the offshore yuan extended gains to rise as much as 0.17%, although it has since given up all gains and was little changed at 6.8975. With pressure on reserves easing in recent months, the onshore yuan has advanced 0.7% this year amid a decline in the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index.
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