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China's yuan eases on weaker fix and seasonal corporate US dollar-buying

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China's yuan eased against the US dollar on Monday, thanks to continuing corporate demand for the greenback and a weaker official fixing.

[SHANGHAI] China's yuan eased against the US dollar on Monday, thanks to continuing corporate demand for the greenback and a weaker official fixing.

The US dollar got a lift against major peers as US yields spiked and the pound stumbled.

Prior to Monday's market opening, the People's Bank of China lowered its midpoint rate at 6.6347 per US dollar, the weakest level in nearly two weeks, 65 pips or 0.1 per cent weaker than the previous fix of 6.6282 on Friday.

In the spot market, the onshore yuan opened at 6.6510 per US dollar and was changing hands at 6.6473 at midday, 62 pips weaker than the late session close on Friday and 0.19 per cent softer than the midpoint.

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Its offshore counterpart was trading 0.14 per cent weaker than the onshore spot, at 6.6565 per US dollar as of midday.

Traders said seasonal demand for the US dollar from some oil firms and others impacted the spot yuan rate.

Market participants said Beijing's Friday announcement on raising foreign ownership limits in financial firms did not have a direct impact on spot yuan, but it should boost the Chinese currency and capital inflows in long run.

While markets "will tread carefully knowing it will take time for something actionable to occur", the opening up is "a clear signal that China is looking to increase foreign direct investment (FDI)", Stephen Innes, Oanda's head of Asia-Pacific trading, said in a note in Monday.

Last week, the yuan softened around 0.05 per cent against the US dollar, but on a trade-weighted basis it edged down about 0.3 per cent against a basket of currencies of trading partners in the same period, according to official data from the China Foreign Exchange Trade System (CFETS).

The index, published on a weekly basis, stood at 95.05 on Friday.

The Thomson Reuters/HKEX Global CNH index, which tracks the offshore yuan against a basket of currencies on a daily basis, stood at 95.57, weaker than the previous day's 95.64.

The global US dollar index rose to 94.52 from the previous close of 94.391.

Offshore one-year non-deliverable forwards contracts (NDFs), considered the best available proxy for forward-looking market expectations of the yuan's value, traded at 6.7995, 2.42 per cent weaker than the midpoint.

One-year NDFs are settled against the midpoint, not the spot rate.

REUTERS

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