Central bank Deputy Governor Yi Gang said in an interview with Xinhua that the yuan is a “stable and strong” currency and its depreciation against the dollar was less than that of the Japanese yen or the euro.
It was widely speculated among traders that Chinese state banks, following the speech, intervened the foreign exchange markets by dumping US dollars to support the yuan.
Earlier this month, the central bank required commercial banks to stop issuing double-network payment cards. Meanwhile, China’s biggest bank card provider UnionPay decided to tighten regulations over how mainland customers can use its debit and credit cards to purchase investment-linked insurance products in Hong Kong, amid concerns that it had become a channel through which yuan was leaking across the border.
In addition, the foreign exchange regulator lowered the required the threshold for reporting overseas investments to one-tenth of its prior level. Where in the past foreign direct investment associated foreign exchange transfers of greater than US$50 million had to be reported, the new reporting limit has been cut to US$5 million.
In spite of these measures, the market is still dominated by expectations of continued depreciation.
In regards to equilibrium value, Hong said “it’s at least 7.5 per US dollar and could be even weaker.”
“Traders are tactically buying on dips as the US dollar’s bull trend remains intact,” said Stephen Innes, senior trader at OANDA.
“US interest rate yields are moving higher, so expect the yuan and the emerging market currency sell-off to intensify,” Innes said.