BEIJING, Dec 7 (Reuters) - 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. nL4N1DU2AZ]
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. (Reporting by Stella Qiu and Kevin Yao; Editing by Kim Coghill)