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Chinese banks report forex settlement surplus last month

Updated: Jan 17,2020 05:06 PM    Xinhua

BEIJING — China's commercial banks saw a net forex settlement surplus of 15.6 billion yuan (2.2 $billion) in December 2019, the country's forex regulator said on Jan 17.

Forex purchases by banks stood at 1.26 trillion yuan last month, while sales reached 1.25 trillion yuan, data from the State Administration of Foreign Exchange showed.

Last year, the accumulative amount of foreign exchange settlement and sales by banks were 12.76 trillion yuan and 13.15 trillion yuan, with the accumulative deficit of 384.3 billion yuan.

"Despite mounting external uncertainties, China's forex market recorded balanced supply and demand in 2019, with banks' forex settlement data constantly improving," SAFE spokesperson Wang Chunying told a press conference.

The forex settlement surplus last month ended the previous deficits, which had been narrowing on a quarterly basis, said Wang. Chinese banks saw their monthly average deficit at $4.7 billion in 2019, flat with the level of the previous year.

According to Wang, cross-border capital flows were generally stable in 2019, and the country's forex reserves, a similar measure of capital flow, also saw a steady increase.

Data showed that China's foreign exchange reserves stood at $3.11 trillion by the end of 2019, expanding by $12.3 billion from November, and up $35.2 billion from the beginning of last year.