(Updates with gold price in fourth paragraph.)
Jan. 9 (Bloomberg) -- South African gold and foreign- currency reserves dropped in December as the price of bullion declined and the dollar gained, reducing the value of holdings in other currencies.
Gross reserves decreased to $48.86 billion from $49.65 billion in November, the Pretoria-based Reserve Bank said on its website today. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of five economists was for reserves to fall to $48.82 billion. Net reserves slipped to $47.87 billion from $48.63 billion in November.
“The decrease in the gross reserves was primarily due to the decline in the gold price, which led to a sizable downward valuation adjustment in the gold reserves,” the Reserve Bank said in the statement. “The appreciation of the U.S. dollar against other major currencies also resulted in a decline.”
Gold slid 9.7 percent last month, the biggest slump since September. Gold reserves, which accounts for about 14 percent of gross holdings at the central bank, fell to $6.27 billion, the bank said. The dollar gained against 13 of the 16 major currencies tracked by Bloomberg, cutting the value of holdings of euros, pounds and other foreign exchange.
The rand was little changed at 8.1784 per dollar at 8:20 a.m. in Johannesburg from 8.1757 on Jan. 6. The yield on South Africa’s 13.5 percent bonds due in 2015 was unchanged at 6.85 percent.
-- Editors: Vernon Wessels, Ben Holland
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