China central bank helps yuan to highest level in years
Analysts cite US trade tensions
The Chinese yuan has surged to its highest point versus the dollar in more than two years, with the People’s Bank of China setting the reference rate at 6.2816 on Tuesday. The fix, from which the central bank allows as much as a 2% fluctuation, followed a rally in the currency on Monday.
Analysts at Bank of America said this month that policy makers in Beijing might use a stronger currency to ease trade tensions with the US, according to The Wall Street Journal. Goldman Sachs cited the same reason for upping its yuan/dollar exchange rate forecast to 6.20 from 6.45, previously, Reuters reported Wednesday.
Movement towards greater inclusion of Chinese bonds in international benchmarks was also noted.
“The renewed focus on trade relations with the US […] (and) the desire to facilitate local currency bond inclusion in international benchmarks,” Goldman analysts wrote, will offset slower growth and authorities’ concerns of a stronger yuan.
Not everyone agrees.
Eddie Cheung, a foreign-exchange strategist at Standard Chartered didn’t think trade was behind the moves. “Trump hasn’t really talked about the currency in a long time, so I don’t see why China would want to put this on the table,” he was quoted as saying in the WSJ report.