The yuan could break through the level of 7 yuan to the US dollar as early as today as the central government allows the currency to appreciate faster to help curb inflation. The yuan yesterday rose to 7.0105 per dollar, its latest high since the exchange rate system was revised in 2005. It is also 0.3 per cent higher than the previous finish of 7.0318. The mid-point was set at 7.013 when the market opened. Law Ka-chung, the chief economist and strategist at Bank of Communications, said the bank had again revised its yuan forecast upwards. Earlier this month, the bank forecast that the yuan could climb 9 to 14 per cent this year, but Mr Law said it was more likely to gain 10 to 15 per cent. 'It could strengthen as much as 20 per cent this year if high inflation and economic overheating persist,' he said. China's inflation rate hit a 12-year high of 8.7 per cent last month on the back of a 23 per cent rise in food prices. Premier Wen Jiabao pledged last week to take 'forceful' steps to curb prices. Mr Law said the yuan could break through 7 yuan per dollar as early as today given the recent fast pace of appreciation. Yuan non-deliverable forward contracts indicate the currency could reach 6.3263 per dollar, representing a 15.8 per cent appreciation in 12 months. 'The weak dollar will also speed up the appreciation of the yuan,' a banker said.