Updated December 21st, 2023 at 17:09 IST
Chinese currency weakens on back of sluggish stock performance
The blue-chip CSI300 index is still hovering near a 5-year low.
The yuan eased on Thursday as offshore yuan funding costs fell and China's blue-chip stock index hovered near 5-year lows. With offshore liquidity easing, the cost of borrowing yuan in Hong Kong has fallen across the board, making it less expensive for some investors to short the yuan. Hong Kong's offshore yuan overnight CNH HIBOR, a gauge that measures offshore yuan liquidity conditions, fell 131 basis points to 2 per cent, the lowest in three weeks.
Meanwhile, sluggish stock performance in China has also hurt sentiment for the yuan, traders and analysts say. The blue-chip CSI300 index is still hovering near a 5-year low. Prior to the market's opening, the People's Bank of China set the midpoint rate, around which the yuan is allowed to trade in a 2 per cent band, at 7.1012 per US dollar, 46 pips weaker than the previous fix of 7.0966.
The spot yuan opened at 7.1380 per dollar and was changing hands at 7.1465 at midday, 83 pips weaker than the previous late session close. Looking ahead, the change in both US and Chinese monetary policy direction will become more supportive of the yuan, Ken Cheung, chief Asian FX strategist at Mizuho Bank, said in a note. The PBOC will likely continue to prioritise FX market stability to anchor confidence in China's economy and contain capital outflow pressure, Cheung said, adding that he expects the onshore yuan to gradually stabilise around 6.95 by the end of 2024. The global dollar index fell to 102.333 from the previous close of 102.408. The offshore yuan was trading 12 pips weaker than the onshore spot at 7.1477 per dollar.
(With Reuters inputs)
Published December 21st, 2023 at 17:08 IST