U.S. dollar share of FX reserves slips, "other currencies" rise-IMF

Mon Apr 1, 2013 3:42pm EDT

NEW YORK, April 1 (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar's share of
known reserves held by global central banks edged lower as of
the fourth quarter last year, International Monetary Fund data
showed on Monday.
    The greenback's share of the roughly $6.0 trillion of known
reserves was 61.9 percent, slightly lower than the 62.1 percent
posted the previous quarter. 
    The euro's share, meanwhile, held steady at 23.9 percent. 
    Shaun Osborne, chief currency strategist at TD Securities in
Toronto, said the dollar's share was about 10 percentage points
lower than the share held 10 years ago, although recent trends
suggested that its decline may be stabilizing.
    "It is the euro's proportion of global reserve assets that
is clearly easing at present," said Osborne.
    Since 2009, the euro's share of global allocated reserve
assets has declined as the ongoing euro zone sovereign and
economic crisis unfolded. Its share has dropped from a little
under 28 percent in 2009 to just under 24 percent. The current
holdings were close to the lowest overall since late 2004.
    One noteworthy trend was the continued rise in the category
called "other currencies," which mainly means commodity-linked
currencies, such as the Australian and Canadian dollars.  
    Their share of overall currency reserves grew to 6.1 percent
in the fourth quarter from 5.7 percent the previous quarter and
5.2 percent from the same quarter last year. On a year-over-year
basis, central banks' holdings of "other currencies" jumped 25
percent. 
   Unallocated reserves, or those not known and believed mostly
held by China, rose to $4.9 trillion in the fourth quarter from
$4.7 trillion in the third.
    Total global reserves, meanwhile, rose to a record near $11
trillion, or a 7.2 percent year-over, data showed.
    Global reserves are assets of central banks held in
different currencies primarily used to back their liabilities.
Central banks have sometimes cooperated in buying and selling
official international reserves in order to influence exchange
rates.
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