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China end-March forex reserves rise to $875.1

Written by: Staff

BEIJING, Apr 14 (Reuters) China's foreign exchange reserves, the world's largest, rose .2 billion in the first quarter of 2006 to a record 5.1 billion, the central bank said on Friday.

It said reserves had risen .4 billion from February, when they surpassed Japan's stockpile for the first time.

China's foreign exchange reserves rose .9 billion in the fourth quarter of 2005 and swelled 9 billion in the whole of the year.

China's reserves have ballooned in recent years as the central bank, in order to hold down the yuan, has bought most of the dollars generated by a growing trade surplus, inflows of foreign direct investment and speculative capital.

Foreign exchange reserves (in billions of U.S. dollars): End-Mar06 end-2005 end-Sep05 end-Jun05 end-Mar05 end-2004 875.1 818.9 769.0 711.0 659.1 609.9 REUTERS PV BS1234

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