SEOUL, April 23 (Yonhap) — The daily foreign exchange (FX) trading by banks in South Korea jumped 20.7 percent in the first quarter from three months earlier, thanks to a modest recovery in trade, central bank data showed Friday.

The daily FX turnover came to an average US$60.94 billion in the January-March period, up $10.44 billion from the fourth quarter of last year, according to the data by the Bank of Korea (BOK).

It was the biggest three-month gain since 2008, when the BOK changed its method of compiling the data.

The jump also came as the inflow of foreign investors’ stock funds accelerated and FX derivative transactions gained, the BOK said.

The average daily turnover of foreign exchange spots reached $24.54 billion during the first quarter, up 21.8 percent from three months earlier, while the daily average FX derivatives rose 19.9 percent on-quarter to $36.4 billion.

By bank, the daily turnover by local lenders rose 14.7 percent on-quarter to $27.59 billion, while transactions handled by local branches of foreign banks gained 26.1 percent to $33.35 billion, the BOK said.

This file photo, taken on March 18, 2020, shows a Hana Bank official in Seoul inspecting U.S. banknotes before their release into the local financial market. (Yonhap)