Reserve Assets

Dictionary Says

Definition of 'Reserve Assets'


Currency, commodities or other financial capital held by monetary authorities, such as central banks, to finance trade imbalances, check the impact of foreign exchange fluctuations and address other issues under the purview of the central bank. Reserve assets should be liquid and under the monetary authority's control.

Investopedia Says

Investopedia explains 'Reserve Assets'


Before the Bretton Woods agreement ended in 1971, most central banks used gold as their reserve assets. Today, central banks may still hold gold in reserve, but this has been supplanted by reserves of foreign currencies. Currencies held by central banks have to be readily convertible, meaning that the currency should have high enough stable demand (and low controls) to allow the bank to use them.

Reserve assets can be used to fund currency manipulation activities by the central bank. In general, it is easier to push the value of a currency down than to prop it up, since propping the currency up involves selling off reserves to buy domestic assets. This can burn through reserves quickly. The central bank can put downward pressure on the currency by adding more money into the system and using that money to buy foreign assets. The downside to this strategy is the potential for increased inflation.

The U.S. dollar is widely considered to be the predominant reserve asset.

comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. Valuation

    The process of determining the current worth of an asset or company. There are many techniques that can be used to determine value, some are subjective and others are objective.
  2. Tech Street

    A term used in the financial markets and the press to refer to the technology sector. Companies like Intel, Microsoft, Apple and Dell are all considered to be part of Tech Street.
  3. Tech Street

    A term used in the financial markets and the press to refer to the technology sector. Companies like Intel, Microsoft, Apple and Dell are all considered to be part of Tech Street.
  4. Momentum Investing

    An investment strategy that aims to capitalize on the continuance of existing trends in the market. The momentum investor believes that large increases in the price of a security will be followed by additional gains and vice versa for declining values.
  5. Momentum Investing

    An investment strategy that aims to capitalize on the continuance of existing trends in the market. The momentum investor believes that large increases in the price of a security will be followed by additional gains and vice versa for declining values.
  6. IPO ETF

    An exchange-traded fund that focuses on stocks that have recently held an initial public offering (IPO). The underlying indexes tracked by IPO ETFs vary from one fund manager to another, but index IPO ETFs are usually passively managed and contain equities that have recently been offered to the public.
Trading Center