By Chen Cheng-hui / Staff reporter
The nation’s foreign exchange reserves last month decreased US$3.71 billion to US$545.06 billion, the central bank said in a statement yesterday.
The latest data showed that foreign exchange reserves have been falling for two consecutive months, as the net outflow of foreign capital offset returns from the bank’s management of reserve assets.
Exchange rate shifts of other reserve currencies against the US dollar were the main factor behind the decrease in Taiwan’s foreign exchange reserves, the bank said.
Based on the bank’s tallies, the euro fell 5.84 percent against the US dollar last month on a monthly basis, while the British pound declined 4.8 percent and the yen shed 6.36 percent.
The Australian dollar fell 4.77 percent, the Canadian dollar weakened 2.03 percent, the yuan retreated 4.76 percent and the Singaporean dollar dropped 2.27 percent against the greenback, the bank’s data showed.
The central bank said it slowed the effect of volatile capital flows on the local currency last month, as foreign outflows totaled US$12 billion, given changes in stock market investment forecasts and the economic outlook.
The New Taiwan dollar decreased 3 percent against the US dollar last month, data showed.
Due to geopolitical concerns, foreign investors in the past few months have reduced their holdings of risky assets, including Taiwanese equities, the bank said.
Foreign investors sold a net NT$263.9 billion (US$8.94 billion) of local shares in March and NT$259.5 billion last month, contributing to a decline in the nation’s foreign exchange reserves, it said.
Due to price corrections, the market value of securities investment and deposits held by foreign portfolio investors fell to a 17-month low of US$602.6 billion last month, equivalent to 111 percent of foreign exchange reserves, compared with 123 percent the previous month, the bank said
In a separate statement yesterday, the central bank said that it has instructed the Bank of Taiwan (臺灣銀行) to conduct an online auction of banknotes with special serial numbers in denominations of NT$100, NT$500 and NT$1,000.
A total of 4,592 banknotes are to be auctioned, which are to be divided into 122 sets for bidding, which opens on May 19 and ends on May 24, it said.
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