Saturday, 29 June 2013

Increased Use of USD for Reserve Currency

Ralph Shell, Excel Analyst

Every quarter, the IMF publishes the Currency Composition of Official Foreign Reserves (COFER) data. The IMF reports:

"COFER data are submitted to the IMF on a voluntary and confidential basis by 114 member countries, comprising all 24 industrial countries and 90 out of the 160 developing countries. The data are not country-specific, but are presented in aggregate form for each currency for three groupings: all countries, industrial countries, and developing countries."

It takes a while to compile all the data.  The report, published Friday 28th June, was for the March quarter, so the information is interesting in a macro sense but in no way should it be used in a short-term trading decision.

The total foreign holdings, in millions of USD is 11,087,449, of which 6, 050,112 is classified as allocated reserves.  Largest of the classified reserves is the USD.  It represents 62.2% of the allocated reserves.  In the previous four quarters, the USD share of the reserve currencies was 61.5% or less.

The second largest reserve currency is the euro and was 23.7% of the reserved currencies.  This was down from 24.2% in the prior quarter.  There were also small reductions in the use of the pound and the yen.
In the last quarter, the Canadian and Australian Dollars have been added as reserve currencies.  The use of those two currencies is small but it is growing.

This information, while dated, does show that the USD is not becoming any less important as a reserve currency.
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