Forex reserves hit fresh high on rising currencies

The central bank last month intervened in the local forex market to maintain order after large capital inflows caused excessive volatility

The nations foreign-exchange reserves hit a fresh high last month, the central bank reported yesterday.

The reserves reached US$478.13 billion, an increase of US$4.08 billion from the previous month, due to the appreciation of the euro and other reserve currencies against the US dollar, as well as returns from the banks management of foreign-exchange reserves, the bank said in a statement.

The reserves increased also because the bank intervened in the local foreign-exchange market to maintain market order, at a time when large and sudden capital inflows caused excessive volatility, it said.

Meanwhile, the value of securities investment and the New Taiwan dollar-denominated deposits held by foreign institutional investors reached US$455 billion at the end of last month, equivalent to 95 percent of foreign-exchange reserves, the bank said.

That represents an increase of US$31.1 billion from the end of November, when it accounted for 88 percent of the foreign-exchange reserves, bank data showed.

The bank attributed the increase mainly to rising foreign fund inflows into local equities, the Central News Agency quoted Department of Foreign Exchange Director-General Harry Yen () as saying yesterday.

The TAIEX, which climbed 4.42 percent last month thanks to net buying by foreign investors, ended 1.3 percent lower yesterday due to geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, with foreign institutional investors selling a net NT$9.75 billion (US$323.81 million) in local shares on the main bourse, Taiwan Stock Exchange data showed.

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