The nation's top currency regulators have taken the first big steps in nearly a decade to liberalise the renminbi exchange system. The newly announced measures include lifting the restriction on currency traders buying and selling a given foreign currency on the same day and raising their daily trading limit. The policy, which comes into effect next month, is the first major step towards liberalising the mainland's exchange controls since 1994. For years, registered currency traders at government-approved banks were only allowed to either buy or sell a currency against the renminbi on any given day, but could not do both. Other steps the State Administration of Foreign Exchange announced in a recent circular include allowing banks to trade multiple currencies, instead of just the US dollar. Administration officials have denied reports there is US$25 billion in speculative investment floating in mainland banks. But Wang Jian, a senior economist with the State Development and Reform Commission, confirmed he wrote a report last month for top leaders that contained this estimate. Mr Wang said foreign exchange reserves were likely to decline in the next six months as speculators would pull out now that it was clear Beijing would not give in to pressure to devalue the yuan.