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Chinese banks’ net forex sales nearly halved in October

Updated: Nov 16,2016 9:13 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — Chinese banks saw combined net foreign exchange sales of $14.6 billion in October, sharply down from September, as capital flight pressure eased last month, official data showed on Nov 16.

Chinese lenders bought $107.9 billion worth of foreign currency in October and sold $122.5 billion, resulting in a 49-percent month-on-month decline in net forex sales, according to data from the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE).

Non-bank companies and individuals contributed $10.2 billion of the net forex sales, down 62 percent from September.

A SAFE statement said October saw less capital outflow pressure, citing such factors as reduced seasonal demand for forex purchases, increased overseas investment in the domestic bond market and a larger trade surplus.

Customs figures show China’s foreign trade surplus rose 17 percent month on month to $49.1 billion in October.

As China’s economy has further stabilized in recent months and its structure continues to improve, cross-border capital flows will remain stable in the medium and long term, the statement said.

The country’s manufacturing sector expanded at its fastest pace in more than two years in October, while fixed-asset investment rose 8.3 percent year on year in January-October, higher than market expectations of 8.2 percent.

In the first 10 months of the year, Chinese banks saw total net forex sales of $258 billion, according to SAFE data.