Week in FX Asia – All Eyes On China’s Growth Story

The PBoC has ended the week guiding the Yuan higher via its daily reference rate, settling at 6.1041, a tad lower than Thursday close of 6.1065 mostly on the back of a weaker dollar overseas. CNY gained +2.9% against the dollar last year and +0.03% this week. However, trading continues to remain relatively thin ahead of this Mondays GDP release.

The market is expecting that China's GDP rose +7.6% on year, down from +7.8% in Q3. Many have been calling for the Yuan to break the psychological +6.0000 level sometime this year. They expect China to speed up their financial market reform, including allowing freer cross-border capital flow, which should be reason enough to eventually lead to a stronger Yuan.

A surge in China's foreign-exchange reserves will continue to add pressure on Yuan appreciation. Their fx reserves reached a staggering +$3.82-trillion at the end of last year, up from +$3.66-trillion in September. Breaking that down, China has boosted their US treasury holdings to a new record high last November (+$12.2-billion to +$1.3167-trillion). This is certainly a global market positive, as it’s a sign that they are not worried about the rise in long-term interest rates. A steady foreign appetite for US debt helps to contain the pace of rise in US bonds yields that is occurring in anticipation of further tapering by the Fed.

China and Japans demand for US assets is also a positive domestically for both the US consumer and businesses. Last Novembers treasury demand increase was the third consecutive monthly buy from China. Their healthy appetite for US debt is a byproduct of the limited options available to park their massive foreign reserves acquired from their trade surplus with the US. China, similar to Japan, is unlikely to dump Treasuries because that would not only hurt the US, but China as well.

In the short term, the Yuan is expected to remain firm in this uptrend ahead of the Lunar New Year at month-end, mostly because of domestic demand remaining relatively buoyant.

WEEK AHEAD

* CNY GDP
* NZD Consumer Prices Index
* EUR German ZEW Survey
* JPY Bank of Japan Monetary Policy Statement
* AUD Consumer Prices Index
* CAD Bank of Canada Rate Decision
* CAD Consumer Price Index

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Dean Popplewell

Dean Popplewell

Vice-President of Currency Analysis and Research at MarketPulse
Dean Popplewell has nearly two decades of experience trading currencies and fixed income instruments. He has a deep understanding of market fundamentals and the impact of global events on capital markets. He is respected among professional traders for his skilled analysis and career history as global head of trading for firms such as Scotia Capital and BMO Nesbitt Burns. Since joining OANDA in 2006, Dean has played an instrumental role in driving awareness of the forex market as an emerging asset class for retail investors, as well as providing expert counsel to a number of internal teams on how to best serve clients and industry stakeholders.
Dean Popplewell