China’s foreign exchange reserves grew for the first time since June at the end of last month, surprising economists and sending the country’s war chest back above $3tn.

Reserves at the People’s Bank of China rose from $2.998tn to $3.0051tn in February, defying expectations of a fall to $2.969tn. The reversal comes after January’s monthly drop sent reserves dipping below the $3tn mark for the first time since February 2011.

China has successfully curbed the flow of money cascading out of the country in January following the imposition of administrative controls.

Analysts said the shift raised the potential for Beijing to prevail in its efforts to keep the renminbi stable against the US dollar this year. February’s suprise uptick in reserves by $6.92bn suggests the strategy is beginning to pay off.

Chart via Bloomberg

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