Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

SA’s foreign exchange reserves shrank 0.9% to $49.54bn in April from $49.98bn in March, the Reserve Bank reported on Tuesday morning.

"The decrease of $440m in the gross reserves reflects the foreign exchange payments made on behalf of the government and the appreciation of the US dollar against most currencies, which was partially offset by the matured foreign exchange swaps conducted for liquidity management purposes," the Reserve Bank said.

The value of the central bank’s gold holdings fell to $5.29bn from $5.33bn due to a decline in the average gold price to $1,313.37/oz in April from $1,323.15/oz in March.

The rand weakened to average R12.43 to the dollar in April from R11.87/$ in March.

The outflow of foreign currency deposits slowed to $8.36bn in April from $8.59bn in March.