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Markets

Yuan eases as investors look to US inflation data

  • "Although China's aggregate finance grew at a slower pace than last year, yuan loan growth was faster than a year ago, showing that shadow banking has continued to shrink," Iris Pang, chief economist for Greater China at ING, said in a note.
Published April 13, 2021
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SHANGHAI: China's yuan inched lower against the dollar on Tuesday, as investors became cautious ahead of US inflation data, shrugging off a slew of strong economic indicators that pointed to continued recovery in the world's second-largest economy.

Some currency traders said global markets were anxiously awaiting US inflation data due later in the session that could suggest a faster economic rebound in the United States.

"Policy is obviously adding some uncertainty to the mix as the market waits to see how central banks react to the upcoming lift in inflation and the fiscally induced burst in spending," analysts at ANZ said in a note.

Prior to market opening, the People's Bank of China (PBOC) set the midpoint rate at 6.5454 per dollar, 124 pips or 0.19% firmer than the previous fix of 6.5578.

The onshore spot yuan opened at 6.5470 per dollar and was changing hands at 6.5502 at midday, 27 pips weaker than the previous late session close.

The yuan market was little reacted to a series of upbeat economic data released this week. Earlier in the session, China reported strong trade data showing exports grew at a robust pace in March in yet another boost to the nation's economic recovery, while import growth surged to the highest in four years.

"Looking ahead, the global reopening amid the vaccinations rollouts and improving global outlook should hold the external demand supportive, while the global supply-chain normalisation could drive the production back to the original regions from China," said Ken Cheung, chief Asian FX strategist at Mizuho Bank in Hong Kong.

Separately, new bank loans in China rose more than expected in March from the previous month due to strong corporate and household demand, as the central bank walks a tightrope between supporting the rapidly recovering economy and containing debt risks.

The upbeat loan growth data has convinced some analysts and economists that the PBOC was likely to stay on hold for the remainder of the year.

"Although China's aggregate finance grew at a slower pace than last year, yuan loan growth was faster than a year ago, showing that shadow banking has continued to shrink," Iris Pang, chief economist for Greater China at ING, said in a note.

"Together with deleveraging reform, this suggests that financial market risks are under control," she said, expecting no change to monetary policy this year and maintaining her forecast for the yuan to trade at 6.3 per dollar at year-end.

The global dollar index rose to 92.258 at midday, while the offshore yuan was trading at 6.5529 per dollar.

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