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S. Korea's FX reserves hit all-time high in Sept.
SEOUL, Oct. 4 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's foreign exchange reserves rose to a fresh record high in September as a weaker U.S. dollar bolstered the conversion value of assets in other currencies, the central bank said Monday.

   The country's foreign reserves reached US$289.78 billion as of the end of September, up $4.42 billion from August, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK).

   Foreign reserves consist of securities and deposits denominated in overseas currencies, along with International Monetary Fund (IMF) reserve positions, special drawing rights and gold bullion.

   "Amid an increase in investment profits, the reserves rose last month as a stronger euro and pound boosted their dollar conversion value," Moon Han-geun, an economist at the BOK, told reporters.

   In September, the greenback lost ground against major currencies on expectations for additional monetary easing by the U.S. The euro rose 7.6 percent per the dollar, and the pound gained 2.4 percent against the greenback.

   Market players also speculated that dollar-buying intervention by foreign exchange authorities to curb the won's ascent seemed to contribute to the reserves' gain. The Korean won gained 3.9 percent to the dollar in September alone.

   Moon said last month, the government entrusted part of its currency stabilization fund further into the country's sovereign wealth fund, Korea Investment Corp. (KIC), which contributed to erode the reserves' gains.

   As of the end of August, South Korea was the world's fifth-largest holder of foreign exchange reserves after China, Japan, Russia and Taiwan.

   sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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