BEIJING -- China's foreign-exchange reserves dropped in February due to a stronger U.S. dollar and disruptions from the coronavirus epidemic on its foreign trade.
The country's hoard of foreign exchange decreased by $8.78 billion on month to a three-month low of $3.107 trillion at the end of February, according to data released by the People's Bank of China Saturday.
Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had expected a $10 billion fall in reserves in February after they rose $7.6 billion in January.
The reserve decrease reflected higher treasury prices in major economies and an appreciation in the U.S. dollar last month, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange said in a statement explaining the results.
The global economy and financial markets face increased uncertainties, the regulator said, adding the impact from the epidemic on China's economy should be short-lived.
The U.S. dollar index climbed 0.79% in February after rising 0.95% in January, according to Wind. Weaker Chinese exports should have resulted in a shrinking trade surplus, contributing to smaller reserves, economists have said.