UPDATE 1 - USD reserves up, Australian, Canadian dlr holdings climb -IMF

Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:05pm EDT
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NEW YORK, June 28 (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar's share of known reserves held by global central banks edged higher in the first quarter, data from the International Monetary Fund showed on Friday.

For the first time, the IMF broke down central bank holdings in the Australian and Canadian dollars, which were previously classified under "Other Currencies."

Central banks held US$98.66 billion in the Australian currency globally as of the first quarter, or 1.63 percent of allocated reserves. They held US$94.93 billion in Canadian dollars, or 1.57 percent of known reserves.

The IMF also provided data on reserves held in these two currencies in the previous quarter, with US$89.74 billion in the Australian dollar, or 1.48 percent, and US$90.05 billion in the Canadian dollar, also 1.48 percent.

U.S. dollar reserves rose to $3.76 trillion in the January to March period, or 62.2 percent, from $3.73 trillion, or 61.2 percent in the previous quarter.

Marc Chandler, global head of currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman in New York, said the IMF data suggests "the demise of the dollar has been exaggerated." He said the share of reserves in the Australian and Canadian dollars is a bit less than expected, which will leave investors guessing which other currencies are in the "other" category.

Global reserves are assets of central banks held in different currencies primarily used to back their liabilities. Central banks have sometimes cooperated in buying and selling official international reserves in order to influence exchange rates.

Euro reserves fell to $1.43 trillion in the first quarter, or 23.7 percent, the lowest percentage value since the second quarter of 2004. In the prior quarter, euro reserves stood at $1.47 trillion, or 24.2 percent.   Continued...