Friday, July 17, 2009

Chinese Yuan Appreciation to Slow

In the year-to-date, the Chinese Yuan has already appreciated 6.5% against the USD, the fastest pace since the currency was famously revalued three years ago. This upward pressure has been built largely on the continuing inflow of speculative "hot money," which was itself built on the expectation of further interest rate hikes, ostensibly needed to tame inflation. However, the Central Bank of China recently indicated a slight shift in its monetary policy, backing away from fighting inflation in favor of promoting economic growth. At least until after the Olympic Games conclude, China will henceforth ignore inflation, so as not to precipitate a slowdown that could jeopardize the Games. The Futures markets have been quick to react, and the consensus expectation for 1-year RMB appreciation has fallen from 10% to 5.4%. Bloomberg News reports:
Once the Olympics are out of the way, the vigil on inflation may have to resume. But unless China gets flooded by speculative flows, a one-shot revaluation will remain off the table.

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