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Major state-owned Chinese banks seen selling dollars to support yuan

06 July 2018
Major state-owned Chinese banks seen selling dollars to support yuan

The central bank earlier set the midpoint at 6.6497 yuan per dollar, its weakest fixing in about 10 months.

The yuan's weakening has reflected the narrowing spreads between interest rates of China and the United States, and an overly depreciated yuan will bring no benefit, Tai said. It's lost about 4.6 percent of its value against the dollar since June 14.

The recovery came after the People's Bank of China (PBOC) said it would keep the nation's currency stable and not deploy it as a weapon in the trade conflict with the United States, calming worries that any escalation in the standoff would lead to a slowdown in economic growth.

"Expectations that China will impose more property controls are weighing on developer shares as the market is still overheated", said Jiang Yining, an analyst in Shanghai with Capital Securities.

Valuations also remain supportive of the dollar, with its trade-weighted basket still below long-term averages.

China's state-owned banks have reportedly been buying U.S. dollars in forwards on behalf of the central bank (PBOC) and immediately selling them into the spot market to support the yuan.

Elsewhere in currency markets, the euro, which had been pressured by political uncertainty in Germany, pared losses in late USA trade on reports Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives settled a row over migration that threatened to topple her governing coalition after interior minister Horst Seehofer dropped his threat to quit.

USA benchmarks initially gave up some gains in mid-afternoon trading after minutes from the Federal Reserve's last meeting on June 12-13 showed central bankers discussed whether trade tensions could dent the US economy.

Elsewhere the Australian dollar took heart from solid domestic retail sales data and edged up to $0.7403, moving away from an 18-month trough around $0.7311.

The euro last traded at $1.1650, after shedding 0.45 percent overnight.

Growth in the Canadian manufacturing sector accelerated in June to its fastest pace in more than seven years, the IHS Markit Canada Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index showed on Tuesday.

Stock markets in Europe and the United States advanced on Thursday, offsetting more losses in Asia as investors were encouraged by economic data from Germany and a report that its big carmakers could be spared from USA tariffs.

Oil prices bounced back in early Asian trade on Tuesday, with Brent crude rising 0.41 percent to $77.30 per barrel and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was up 0.32 percent to $73.94 a barrel.

The Mexican peso rose sharply on Tuesday after Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the newly elected president, sought to soothe investors - magnifying a global bounce in emerging market assets.

Obrador, who cruised to victory over the weekend as the first leftist elected president since one-party rule ended in 2000, has strived to dispel fears he might be averse to private investment when he takes office on December 1. The two officials commented as the yuan traded at its lowest levels in 11 months amid China-U.S. trade friction.