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China November forex reserves fall more than expected to $3.05 trillion, lowest since 2011

Lucas Schifres | Getty Image

China's foreign exchange reserves fell for a fifth straight month in November and by more than expected to the lowest since March 2011, as authorities struggled to shore up the sliding yuan currency in the face of a relentlessly rising dollar.

Reserves fell by $69.06 billion last month to $3.052 trillion, central bank data showed on Wednesday, following a drop of $45.7 billion in October.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected reserves to drop $30 billion to $3.091 trillion, from $3.121 trillion at the end of October.

The central bank is widely believed to have sold U.S. dollars to support the yuan currency as it sunk to more than 8-1/2 year lows in November.

China has announced a string of measures in recent weeks to tighten controls on money moving out of the country, adding to market speculation that potentially destabilising capital outflows are on the rise.

The yuan's more than 5 percent slide so far this year has sparked a flurry of bets that the currency will weaken further, leaving traders wondering how long China's leaders can maintain their yuan defence and withstand a prolonged drain on reserves if the U.S. dollar continues to firm.

Adding to pressure on the currency, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has vowed to label China a currency manipulator on his first day in office on Jan. 20 and has threatened to impose huge tariffs on imports of Chinese goods.

China's gold reserves fell to $69.785 billion at end- November from $75.348 billion at end-October.

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