Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Euro edges higher, yuan gains as trade concerns linger

China's Currency Makes Round Trip as Trade War, Growth Concerns Whipsaw Market China's Yuan Reverses Course, Rises Against Dollar
Orlando Vargas | 06 July, 2018, 05:14

That and comments by another PBoC official earlier on Tuesday are the first clear statement on the currency by the central bank since the yuan started weakening in mid-June.

While the focus this week is mainly on the hundreds of billions worth of goods targeted by China-US tariffs, Trump has also taken aim at the European Union and Canada, which have both announced retaliatory measures, adding to global trade war warnings. The yuan has retreated some 3.7% against the us dollar over the past three weeks.

PBoC Governor Yi Gang said on the central bank's site that China will "keep the yuan exchange rate basically stable at [a] reasonable and balanced level". Cross-border capital flows were under control, he noted. "After all, nothing has been resolved on the Sino-US trade disputes".

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

Elsewhere in currency markets, the euro, which had been pressured by political uncertainty in Germany, pared losses in late US 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.

Offshore yuan had dropped to an 11-month low of 6.7332 per dollar before recouping its losses to finish 0.33 per cent higher on Tuesday.

The euro last traded at $1.1650, after shedding 0.45 percent overnight. China's purchasing manager index readings for June released on Saturday showed a gauge of export orders shrinking, suggesting the trade war is already weighing on growth.

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Oil prices climbed after Libya declared force majeure on some of its supplies, with Brent crude rising 0.8 percent to $77.93 per barrel and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was up 1.1 percent to $74.77 a barrel.

Asian shares dropped in tentative morning trade on Tuesday as sentiment remained fragile in the face of tense trade relations between the United States and major economies, with investors braced for another potentially rocky day for Chinese markets.

Elsewhere, the Mexican peso firmed sharply on Tuesday after the newly elected president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, sought to assuage investors, magnifying a global bounce in emerging market assets.

Obrador, who cruised to victory at the weekend as the first leftist elected president since one-party rule ended in 2000, has worked to dispel fears he might be averse to private investment when he takes office on December 1.

"Notwithstanding the trade war concerns, the broader picture is the US central bank still remains the most hawkish central bank among its peers and that should support the dollar for now", said Jane Foley, senior currency strategist at Rabobank.

"We think there is space for a rally of Mexican peso in the transition period, as local retail investors that have been overweight cash and United States dollar should start shifting back to the peso given the opportunity cost in yield".

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