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Algerian foreign reserves drop to $121.9 bln

ALGIERS, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Algeria’s foreign exchange reserves dropped by $7.1 billion to $121.9 billion in the third quarter of 2016 due to lower oil prices that have hit the country’s finances, Central Bank Governor Mohamed Loukal said on Wednesday.

Oil and gas earnings, which make up 94 percent of total exports and 60 percent of the state budget, fell to $18.8 billion in the first nine months of 2016, down 26.3 percent from the same period a year earlier.

Algeria, an OPEC member, plans to reduce spending by 14 percent in 2017, after a 9 percent cut this year, in an effort to counter the impact of the oil price slide.

Reserves stood at $129 billion in June and $144.1 billion at the end of 2015, Loukal was quoted by the state news agency APS as saying.

Reporting by Hamid Ould Ahmed; Editing by Aidan Lewis/Mark Heinrich