May 7, 2020 / 8:23 AM / 20 days ago

China FX reserves unexpectedly rise to $3.091 trln in April

BEIJING, May 7 (Reuters) - China’s foreign exchange reserves rose unexpectedly in April as the government began easing strict coronavirus measures and the economy began to fire back up from a historic slump in the first quarter.

The country’s foreign exchange reserves - the world’s largest - rose $30.83 billion to $3.091 trillion, central bank data showed on Thursday.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected reserves would fall by $10.633 billion to $3.050 trillion.

Strict capital controls have largely helped China keep outflows under control over the past year despite the shock from the virus outbreak and tough containment measures, a prolonged trade war with the United States and weakening economic growth.

The yuan rose 0.3% against the dollar in April, while the dollar rose about 0.09% against a basket of other major currencies.

Foreign investors resumed buying Chinese stocks and bonds in April after a global selloff in emerging market assets in March as the pandemic intensified.

China held 62.64 million fine troy ounces of gold at the end of April, unchanged from March, but the value rose to $106.67 billion from $100.79 billion as prices of the safe haven asset climbed.

Reporting by Judy Hua and Se Young Lee; Editing by Kim Coghill

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