Market News

China's yuan weakens on COVID-19 outbreaks in Fujian, disappointing data - REUTERS

SEPTEMBER 15, 2021

 SHANGHAI, Sept 15 (Reuters) - The yuan eased against the
dollar on Wednesday, as outbreaks of coronavirus Delta variant
infections raised concerns over China's economic recovery.
    The southeastern province of Fujian reported its fifth
straight day of new local COVID-19 infections, though they were
confined to three coastal cities where a total of 152 cases had
been reported between Sept. 10-14.
    Some analysts reckoned China's tough measures to eradicate
the virus, rather than try to adapt to living with it, as many
other countries are doing, could handicap the economy. 
    "We reckon that China's zero-Covid strategy could be
increasingly costly for the Chinese economy," said Lu Ting,
chief China economist at Nomura.
    August activity indicators came in weaker than expected,
with industrial output rising at the weakest pace since July
2020, while growth of retail sales also slowed significantly.

    Marco Sun, chief financial markets analyst at MUFG Bank,
also noted three high frequency indicators including bank
lending, power generation and rail freight transportation all
slowed in August, suggesting that the economy's recovery in the
second half of this year was "facing multiple obstacles".
    The onshore spot yuan opened at 6.4430 per dollar
and was changing hands at 6.4421 at midday, 39 pips softer than
the previous late session close.
    Separately, China's central bank rolled over maturing
medium-term loans earlier in the session, while keeping the
interest rate unchanged for the 17th month in a row.

    "The full rollover of the MLF provided by the PBOC this
morning suggests that some liquidity support is assured but
credit growth is strong enough for some ammunition to be kept
for the later months," analysts at Maybank said in a note.
    Prior to market opening, the People's Bank of China (PBOC)
set the midpoint rate at 6.4492 per dollar, 8 pips
firmer than the previous fix of 6.4500, the strongest since June
    By midday, the global dollar index fell to 92.637
from the previous close of 92.672, while the offshore yuan
 was trading at 6.439 per dollar. 


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