People’s Bank of China Guides Yuan up but Weak Outlook Remains

China’s central bank guided the yuan a shade higher Friday, a day after a hefty decline in the currency rocked financial markets and fanned renewed worries over the health of the world’s second-largest economy.

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) set the yuan reference rate at 6.5636 against the dollar, up 0.02 percent from Thursday’s fix and higher than the yuan’s closing rate of 6.5929 in onshore trading on Thursday. Friday’s fix was the first time in nine days that the PBOC set the the yuan reference rate higher.

The PBOC on Thursday had guided the yuan lower at the fastest pace since its shock devaluation in August, prompting a shuttering of mainland stocks and roiling markets elsewhere.

China’s central bank lets the yuan spot rate rise or fall a maximum of 2 percent against the dollar, relative to the official fixing rate.

The yuan gained following the fix, rising to 6.5885 in onshore trading Friday. Yuan traded offshore also climbed to 6.6799 against the dollar, having plunged to as much as 6.7511 on Thursday.

Friday’s fix helped mainland stock markets recover, with Chinese equities climbing more than 2 percent. China’s stock market regulator also scrapped a circuit breaker overnight that had halted trading twice since it came to force on Monday.


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Craig Erlam

Craig Erlam

Senior Currency Analyst at OANDA
Based in London, England, Craig Erlam joined OANDA in 2015 as a Market Analyst. With more than five years' experience as a financial market analyst and trader, he focuses on both fundamental and technical analysis while conducting macroeconomic commentary. He has been published by The Financial Times, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Telegraph, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Sky News, Bloomberg, CNBC and BBC. Craig holds a full membership to the Society of Technical Analysts and he is recognized as a Certified Financial Technician by the International Federation of Technical Analysts.