The yuan fell 0.05 per cent to 6.8121 per dollar as of 5:33 pm in Shanghai
Bloomberg November 12, 2016 Last Updated at 01:25 IST
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China’s currency headed for its steepest weekly drop since January, when a series of weaker fixings roiled global financial markets, as Donald Trump’s election victory boosted the dollar and raised the threat of a more protectionist America. Bonds tumbled.
The yuan fell 0.05 per cent to 6.8121 per dollar as of 5:33 pm in Shanghai, approaching the 6.83 level at which China pegged its currency after the 2008 global financial crisis. The exchange rate fell 0.9 per cent this week to a six-year low as Trump’s unexpected win spurred a tectonic shift in fund flows. There was a flurry of activity in the evening, with the yuan erasing the day’s losses amid speculation of central bank intervention. The 10-year yield on government debt climbed 10 basis points this week, the most since May 2015.
Bloomberg’s dollar index held near an eight-month high amid speculation the Federal Reserve will boost interest rates to cap inflation as a Trump-led administration steps up spending. Trump has also threatened punitive tariffs on China’s imports. Accelerating declines in the yuan are a turnaround from the August-September period, when policy makers were suspected of propping up the currency before its entry into the IMF’s reserves basket.
“A rally in the dollar has driven the yuan weaker,” said Irene Cheung, a foreign-exchange strategist at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. in Singapore. “But if the depreciation accelerates in the coming weeks, there’s still a chance that China could take measures to stabilise the market.” The People’s Bank of China set its yuan fixing 0.34 per cent weaker. The currency traded on the mainland erased losses around 5 pm to rise as much as 0.2 per cent amid a drop in the greenback and speculation that the monetary authority was limiting losses.
“The quick gain seems to be PBOC intervention,” said Ken Cheung, a Hong Kong-based Asia currency strategist at Mizuho Bank “China wants to smooth the pace of depreciation to suppress bearish sentiment, as it may fear that elevated expectations for further weakness will lead to worse outflows. There won’t likely be any panic in China.