BEIJING, June 18 (Xinhua) -- China's commercial banks saw a net forex settlement surplus of 146.8 billion yuan (about 22.81 billion U.S. dollars) in May, the country's forex regulator said Friday.
Forex purchases by banks stood at 1.24 trillion yuan, while sales reached about 1.1 trillion yuan, data from the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) showed.
In the first five months, China's commercial banks reported a net forex settlement surplus of 734.7 billion yuan.
The country's forex market was generally stable in May, said Wang Chunying, deputy director and spokesperson of SAFE, attributing the forex settlement surplus to trade surplus due to continuous expansion of China's foreign trade.
China continued to see orderly cross-border capital flows in May. The net increase of domestic stocks and bonds held by foreign investors amounted to 23.7 billion U.S. dollars, equivalent to the monthly average level between January and April, SAFE data showed.
In general, China's forex market is expected to remain stable, said Wang, adding that two-way fluctuations of the yuan exchange rate will become the norm.