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Currencies

Russia boosted yuan holdings over dollar just before invasion

Shift in foreign currency reserves made to minimize fallout from sanctions

People walk past the Russia Central Bank headquarters in Moscow.   © Reuters

BERLIN/TOKYO -- Russia rebalanced its foreign currency reserves before invading Ukraine, devoting a larger share to the Chinese yuan over the U.S. dollar in an apparent attempt to reduce Moscow's exposure to economic sanctions.

The dollar accounted for 11% of Russia's currency reserves in January, the country's central bank said, down from 21% a year earlier. During that span, the yuan's ratio rose 4 points to 17%. The euro made up 34% of the reserves in January while gold accounted for 22%.

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