Mumbai, Nov 9 (PTI) After multiple weeks of decline, the country's foreign exchange reserves swelled by USD 1.054 billion to USD 393.132 billion in the week to November 2, driven by a jump in foreign currency assets and gold holdings, RBI data showed Friday.
Total reserves had dropped by USD 1.444 billion to USD 392.078 billion for the previous reporting week.
After a long gap, gold reserves rose by USD 366.5 million to USD 20.888 billion, according to the latest RBI data.
For the reporting week, foreign currency assets rose USD 487.7 million to USD 368.138 billion.
Expressed in US dollars, foreign currency assets include the effect of appreciation/depreciation of non-US currencies such as the euro, the pound and the yen held in the reserves.
Forex reserves had touched a record high of USD 426.028 billion in the week to April 13, 2018. Since then, it has been on a slide and is now down by over USD 31 billion as the monetary authority has been selling dollars to contain rupee volatility.
The country's reserve position with the International Monetary Fund rose USD 192.2 million to USD 2.639 billion, the apex bank said. However, the special drawing rights with the Fund slipped USD 200,000 to USD 1.465 billion.
RBI has been ramping up gold reserves in recent years and for the first time in nine years, it added 8.46 metric tonne of gold to the reserves.
The last time the central bank had added gold reserves was in November 2009, when it had bought 200 tonnes from the IMF.
The central bank held 566 metric tonnes of gold as of June 2018, up from 558 metric tonnes held in the same period last year, according the RBI annual report for FY18. The increase is on account of an addition of 8.46 metric tonnes during the year.
Of the 566 metric tonnes of gold reserves, 292 metric tonnes were held as backing for notes issued and the balance 274 metric tonnes treated as asset of its banking department.
Gold reserves averaged 452 metric tonnes from 2000 until 2018, reaching an all-time-high of 566 metric tonnes in the second quarter of FY19 and a record low of 358 tonnes in the Q2 of 2000, as the per the annual report. PTI AA BEN RSY ABM