Yuan steadies around 4-mth high, markets weigh possible easing measures


Article content

SHANGHAI — China’s yuan steadied around

a four-month high against the dollar on Thursday, underpinned by

Article content

seasonal demand and signs of improving diplomatic relations with

major trade partner Australia.

Market sentiment has improved after Reuters reported, citing

sources, that China’s state planner has allowed three central

government-backed utilities and its top steelmaker to resume

coal imports from Australia, the first such move since Beijing

imposed an unofficial ban on coal trade with Canberra in 2020.

Advertisement 2

Article content

“The trade tension with Australia may see a potential thaw,”

analysts at Commerzbank said in a note.

“This also comes at a time when global competition for

energy commodities has intensified following the Russia-Ukraine

war and as China seeks to gain energy security.”

Prior to the market opening, the People’s Bank of China

(PBOC) set the midpoint rate at a fresh four-month

high of 6.8926 per dollar, 205 pips or 0.3% firmer than the

previous fix of 6.9131.

In the spot market, the onshore yuan opened at

6.8860 per dollar and was changing hands at 6.8862 at midday,

104 pips firmer than the previous late session close. It was not

far from a more than four-month high of 6.8733 hit on Tuesday.

Currency traders said heavier seasonal demand for the

Advertisement 3

Article content

Chinese currency continued to play a big role in supporting the

yuan, as exporters start to convert their FX receipts into the

local currency for various payments for orders and bonus

handouts ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays.

The week-long holiday starts from Jan. 21 this year.

The traditional higher seasonal cash demand and recent

official pledges to boost the struggling economy have raised

market speculation of possible reductions to policy rates and

the amount of cash banks must set aside as reserves, traders


The liquidity shortfall in January could be around 3.3

trillion yuan ($479.34 billion), meaning that “the central bank

could cut the reserve requirement ratio (RRR),” said Zhang Wei,

analyst at Founder Securities, adding there was also a

Advertisement 4

Article content

possibility of policy rate cuts.

Separately, late night trading was rather tepid after the

PBOC started to extend interbank FX trading hours from Tuesday.

China Foreign Exchange Trade System (CFETS), which is

overseen by the central bank, said volume in the extended hours

totaled $128 million on Tuesday, according to an online

statement published on late Wednesday, about 0.43% of the whole

day’s volume.

By midday, the global dollar index fell to 104.139

from the previous close of 104.248, while the offshore yuan

was trading at 6.8936 per dollar.

The yuan market at 0310 GMT:


Item Current Previous Change

PBOC midpoint 6.8926 6.9131 0.30%

Spot yuan 6.8862 6.8966 0.15%

Divergence from -0.09%


Advertisement 5

Article content

Spot change YTD 0.20%

Spot change since 2005 20.19%


Key indexes:

Item Current Previous Change

Thomson 0.0


CNH index

Dollar index 104.139 104.248 -0.1

*Divergence of the dollar/yuan exchange rate. Negative number

indicates that spot yuan is trading stronger than the midpoint.

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) allows the exchange rate to

rise or fall 2% from official midpoint rate it sets each



Instrument Current Difference

from onshore

Offshore spot yuan 6.8936 -0.11%


Offshore 6.7175 2.61%




*Premium for offshore spot over onshore

**Figure reflects difference from PBOC’s official midpoint,

since non-deliverable forwards are settled against the midpoint.


(Reporting by Winni Zhou and Brenda Goh; Editing by Kim




Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.


Source link






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *