Chinese bank forex sales decline to US$6b in March

Business | 18 Apr 2019 3:53 pm

Chinese commercial banks continued to record net foreign exchange sales last month but the amount has narrowed compared with February as cross-border capital flows remained basically stable, the  forex regulator said today, Xinhua reports.

Chinese lenders bought about US$151.3 billion worth of foreign currencies and sold US$157.5 billion worth last month, resulting in net sales of US$6.1 billion, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange said in a statement.

Forex sales narrowed from the US$15 billion deficit seen in February.

In the first quarter, the banks recorded net forex sales of US$9.1 billion, the data showed.

The first quarter deficit was down by 50 percent from that in the same period last year. On a monthly average basis, the data narrowed 74 percent from that seen over the latter half of 2018, according to SAFE spokesperson Wang Chunying.

"Cross-border capital flows have shown positive changes in 2019," Wang noted, citing the strength of the yuan and balanced supply-demand dynamics in the market.

In the first three months, the central parity rate of the yuan strengthened by 1.9 percent against the U.S. dollar. It also gained by 1.9 percent against a basket of currencies monitored by the China Foreign Exchange Trade System.

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