China's March forex reserves rise to $3.099 trln

BEIJING/SINGAPORE, April 7 (Reuters) - China’s foreign exchange reserves rose for a fifth straight month in March as growing optimism about the prospects for a U.S.-China trade deal offset concerns over slowing economic growth.

Chinese reserves, the world’s largest, rose by $9 billion in March to $3.099 trillion, central bank data showed on Sunday.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected reserves would rise $5 billion to $3.095 trillion.

The yuan fell 5.3 percent against the dollar last year as trade relations with the United States deteriorated and the Chinese economy slowed. But it has rebounded over 2 percent so far in 2019 on hopes Washington and Beijing will reach an agreement to end their bruising trade war

In March, the yuan fell 0.3 percent against the dollar due to the strength of the greenback. The dollar was up 1 percent against a basket of major currencies.

U.S. and Chinese negotiators wrapped up their latest round of trade talks on Friday and were scheduled to resume discussions this week to try to secure a pact that would end a tit-for-tat tariff battle that has roiled global markets.

The value of China’s gold reserves fell slightly to $78.525 billion from $79.498 billion at the end of February.

Reporting by Coci Li in Beijing and Chen Aizhu in Singapore; Editing by Kim Coghill