Yuan steady after China’s 2015 GDP underlines challenging outlook

Reuters Shanghai | Updated on January 19, 2018 Published on January 19, 2016


The yuan barely moved against the dollar on Tuesday as traders took in stride a raft of Chinese economic data, including numbers showing the world’s No. 2 economy posted its slowest annual growth in a quarter of a century.

The People’s Bank of China set the midpoint rate at 6.5596 per dollar prior to market open, almost unchanged from the previous fix at 6.5590. The spot market opened at 6.5775 per dollar and was changing hands at 6.5796 at midday, little changed from the previous close.

GDP growth

China’s economy grew 6.8 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, matching expectations and the slowest since the global financial crisis. Its full year economic growth was 6.9 percent in 2015, the slowest in 25 years, putting pressure on Beijing to roll out more support measures amid fears of a sharper slowdown.

“The market was relatively stable as speculation has almost disappeared,’’ said a trader at a foreign bank in Shanghai.

“For now we will pay more attention on market sentiment, especially that in the offshore market.’’

Real effective exchange rate

The yuan’s real effective exchange rate (REER), or the currency’s value against the trade-weighted basket after adjustments based on inflation, was down 0.53 per cent to 130.31 in December, the latest BIS data showed.

Its REER had gone up 3.93 per cent in 2015, while its spot rate against the dollar had fallen 4.67 per cent in the same period.

On Tuesday, the offshore yuan was trading 0.27 per cent softer than the onshore spot at 6.5973 per dollar.

Traders said the markets appeared to be calmer even though the spread between onshore and offshore market appeared to widen slightly, probably helped by a slew of measures by the Chinese authorities to stabilise the yuan.

The onshore yuan barely moved against the euro at 7.1691. It was almost unchanged against the Japanese yen, sitting at 5.6029 to 100 yen.

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Published on January 19, 2016
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