China turns yuan sharply higher-yen eases
LONDON, JAN 11: China’s yuan again dominated moves on major foreign exchange markets on Monday, driven 1 per cent higher against the dollar in offshore trade after reports of another round of aggressive intervention by Beijing.
With Chinese stocks sinking a further 5 per cent, global financial markets were struggling to shake off the jitters from last week's fall in the yuan.
The dollar was higher against the euro, while the yen hit five-month highs in Asian trade only to retreat after the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) made moves in Hong Kong markets to support the yuan.
The Australian dollar, the main proxy for Chinese sentiment in the G10 list of major developed world currencies, recovered from a four-month low to stand 0.3 per cent higher at $0.6977.
“The Chinese authorities clearly want to signal that it will not be a one-way trade in the renminbi,’’ London-based Rabobank currency strategist Jane Foley said.
“But most people would recognise that were you to take away the interventions it is a currency that would fall’’"
The tightly controlled onshore rate for the yuan was around 0.2 per cent stronger at 6.5807 per dollar after the PBOC set its daily mid-point rate higher for a second day. Offshore rates strengthened by 1 per cent to 6.6180.
Satoshi Okagawa, senior global markets analyst for Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation in Singapore, said that the higher guidance rate had for now helped to calm market fears that Beijing may want to engineer a sharper devaluation.
But concerns over China’s foreign exchange policy lingered, he added.
“We don’t know what will happen tomorrow. If the guidance rate is set lower tomorrow, we could see the same thing as we saw before,’’ Okagawa said.
The dollar built on its gains against the yen in early European trade, up 0.3 per cent at 117.68 yen. Earlier on Monday, it touched a low of 116.70 yen, the lowest since late August.
The euro eased 0.4 per cent to $1.0882, still above Friday's low of $1.0803.
Japan’s financial markets were closed for a public holiday, resulting in thinner trade than usual.