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US dollar grabs bigger share in global currency reserves, but broader trend indicates shift away from greenback

US dollar grabs bigger share in global currency reserves, but broader trend indicates shift away from greenback
The share of the US dollar held by global central banks totaled 59.5% from January through March, up from 58.9% recorded in the previous quarter, according to data revealed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The greenback remained the largest-held currency reserve by national monetary regulators. In the first quarter, the dollar index gained 3.6%.

“Given the US dollar’s broader gains through Q1, the rise in US dollar’s holdings may be more apparent than real,” Shaun Osborne, the chief FX strategist at Scotiabank in Toronto, said as quoted by Reuters.

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The IMF recorded peak allocation for the US dollar in the second quarter of 2001, when its share in global reserves totaled 72.7%.

“Broader trends do underscore the gradual shift away from the US dollar in reserve holdings,” Osborne said, stressing that the trend has been persistent, while currency diversification has developed at a gradual pace.

Global reserves held in US dollars declined to $6.991 trillion in the first three months of the year versus $6.996 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Meanwhile, reserves held in euros dropped 4.4% on a quarterly basis to $2.415 trillion. The share of the euro declined to 20.6% in the first quarter against 21.3% in the previous quarter.

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The share of euro in the fourth quarter of last year reportedly was the highest since 2014. In 2009, the euro reached its highest share of global forex reserves, hitting 28%.

The Chinese yuan’s share increased to 2.4% in the first quarter, from 2.2% in the previous three months. China’s share gained for five consecutive quarters, with yuan reserves rising 7% to $287 billion.

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