In this undated photo, a clerk counts yuan bank notes and US dollar bills at a branch of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China in Huaibei, East China's Anhui province. (PHOTO / IC)

BEIJING – China's banks saw a net forex settlement surplus of approximately $5.5 billion in April, the country's forex regulator said on Monday.

Forex purchases by banks totaled $186.9 billion last month, and sales reached $181.5 billion, data from the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) shows.

"The country's forex market operated steadily in April, with supply and demand basically balanced," said Wang Chunying, deputy director and spokesperson of SAFE.

In terms of capital, foreign direct investment in China maintained a net inflow in April, and overseas investors purchased domestic securities for two consecutive months.

ALSO READ: China's forex reserves rise in April

 "This indicates that China's economic development prospects and the value of RMB assets have boosted global investor confidence further," Wang said.

During the first four months of 2023, forex purchases by banks came in at 732.9 billion dollars, and sales totaled 742.7 billion dollars.