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Business

REUTERS
May 18, 2018

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Yuan strengthens

SHANGHAI: China´s yuan inched up against the U.S. dollar on Thursday after the central bank set a stronger official midpoint and companies sold the greenback.

Trade frictions with the United States remained a key market focus, with traders awaiting news from a second round of high levels talks in Washington.

The White House´s harshest China critic has been relegated to a supporting role, senior Trump administration officials said on Wednesday.

Prior to the market opening, the People´s Bank of China set the midpoint rate at 6.3679 per dollar, 66 pips or 0.1 percent firmer than the previous fix of 6.3745. In the spot market, the onshore yuan opened at 6.3658 per dollar and was changing hands at 6.3601 at midday, 104 pips firmer than the previous late session close and 0.12 percent stronger than the midpoint. The dollar stood below a five-month high against a basket of currencies, as the euro slumped on concerns the political developments in Italy could cause wider disruptions in the common currency bloc.

The dollar index, a gauge measures the unit´s strength against six other major currencies, fell to 93.166 from the previous close of 93.392. It hit 93.632 on Wednesday, its highest since Dec. 19. Market participants have not yet reached a consensus on the yuan´s direction, but many agreed it would face renewed pressure if the dollar continues to climb.

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