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Yuan market likely to spend the day in ‘Trump-watch mode’

Offshore yuan in Hong Kong initially weakened to lowest level this week at 6.9140, but rebounded to trade at 6.9004, up 0.11 per cent stronger than Tuesday

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 11 January, 2017, 1:11pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 11 January, 2017, 1:11pm

The value of offshore yuan declined in morning trading, breaking 6.91 level ahead of the first official press conference, planned for Wednesday evening local time, by US President -elect Donald Trump.

Offshore yuan in Hong Kong initially weakened to its lowest level this week at 6.9140, but rebounded to trade at 6.9004, up 0.11 per cent or 77 points stronger than on Tuesday, as of 12.35 pm.

Onshore yuan in Shanghai traded at 6.9240 to the US dollar, 0.09 per cent or 60 points weaker than on Tuesday.

The People’s Bank of China on Wednesday set the yuan reference point against the US dollar at 6.9235, 1 basis points stronger than on Tuesday.

The Hong Kong Interbank Offered Rate for offshore yuan, known as the CNH Hibor, slipped to a one-month low of 2.761 per cent on Wednesday.

It is expected that Trump’s first news conference since his election win will provide more clues and details on his policy preferences after he takes office on January 20.

“Today the market is in ‘Trump-watch mode’,” said Stephen Innes, senior trader at Oanda. “He may shed some light on his trade protectionist stance.”

The two traditional trade protectionism proxies are the Chinese yuan and the Mexican Peso, both of which stand to suffer if the Trump’s campaign’s anti-globalisation rhetoric becomes policy, added Innes.

“Regarding the Chinese yuan, traders will also be on guard for currency manipulation comments,” he added. “Overall, I see a sooner-rather-than-later test of the 7 level to the dollar, which could occur after the Lunar New Year break, when interbank dealers will likely stoke their depreciation engines.”

In other currency trading, the pound was 0.15 per cent weaker at US$1.2161 on Wednesday afternoon while Japanese Yen slid 0.25 per cent to 116.05 against dollar.

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