RBI
India's foreign exchange reserves have been steadily increasing to hit new highs in the past few weeks. Picture: A security guard at the Reserve Bank of India building in Mumbai, India.Reuters file

India's foreign exchange reserves rose by $157.4 million to reach a new high of $359.91 billion in the week ended April 8, according to the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) weekly statistical supplement released on Friday. The reserves in the previous reporting week stood at $359.75 billion.

The marginal increase of $157.4 million followed the $4.20 billion spike in the week ended April 1.

The increase in the week ended April 8 was on account of $159.3 million in foreign exchange assets, which form a major component of Asia's third-largest economy's foreign exchange reserves. Gold reserves remained unchanged at $20.11 billion. 

The modest increase was mainly due to a mixed trend witnessed in equity purchases by foreign institutional investors (FIIs) during the week.  They were net buyers of Indian stocks on April 4 and 8 and net sellers on April 5 and 6.

The country's foreign exchange reserves had scaled an all-time high of $359.75 billion in the week ended April 1, 2016 due to the addition of $4.20 billion, enabling the country to surpass the previous all-time high of $355.94 billion was in the week ended March 18, 2016.

Besides foreign exchange assets and gold reserves, India maintains reserves in special drawing rights (SDRs) and reserve position in the International Monetary Fund. 

The country's foreign exchange reserves declined $387.5 million in the week ended March 25 after rising for three consecutive weeks.

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