India's forex reserves jump third week to hit fresh lifetime high

Business Saturday 25/May/2024 06:52 AM
India's forex reserves jump third week to hit fresh lifetime high

New Delhi: India's foreign exchange reserves rose for the third straight week, by $4.549 billion to $648.700 billion in the week that ended on May 17, according to data shared by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). In the process, they touched a fresh lifetime high.

Preceding these three weeks, the forex kitty had seen three consecutive weeks of decline. The country's foreign exchange reserves had hit an all-time high of USD 648.562 billion recently.

According to the latest data released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), India's foreign currency assets (FCA), the biggest component of the forex reserves, rose by USD 3.361 billion to USD 569.009 billion.
Gold reserves during the week rose by USD 1.244 billion to USD 57.195 billion.

India's foreign exchange reserves, which reached an all-time high are sufficient to cover around 11 months of projected imports, according to the Monthly Economic Review report of the Department of Economic Affairs under the Ministry of Finance.

In the calendar year 2023, the RBI added about USD 58 billion to its foreign exchange kitty. In 2022, India's forex kitty slumped by USD 71 billion cumulatively. Foreign exchange reserves have risen about USD 28 billion, on a cumulative basis, in 2024 so far.

Forex reserves, or foreign exchange reserves (FX reserves), are assets that are held by a nation's central bank or monetary authority. It is generally held in reserve currencies, usually the US Dollar and, to a lesser degree, the Euro, Japanese Yen, and Pound Sterling.

The country's foreign exchange reserves last touched their all-time high in October 2021. Much of the decline after that can be attributed to a rise in the cost of imported goods in 2022.

Also, the relative fall in forex reserves could be linked to the RBI's intervention, from time to time, in the market to defend the uneven depreciation in the rupee against a surging US dollar.

Typically, the RBI, from time to time, intervenes in the market through liquidity management, including through the sale of dollars, to prevent a steep depreciation in the rupee.

The RBI closely monitors the foreign exchange markets and intervenes only to maintain orderly market conditions by containing excessive volatility in the exchange rate, without reference to any pre-determined target level or band.