China’s yuan snaps eight-day losing streak after strong PBOC warning

China’s yuan snaps eight-day losing streak after strong PBOC warning
China's yuan snaps eight-day losing streak after strong PBOC warning
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A China yuan note is seen in this illustration photo May 31, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas White/Illustration/

SHANGHAI (Reuters) -China’s yuan bounced on Thursday from a 14-year low against the dollar hit in the previous session, snapping eight straight days of losses, after the central bank warned against speculative trading and heavy one-way bets on the currency.

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said on Wednesday that stabilising the foreign exchange market is the top priority, and reiterated that the yuan has a solid basis to be basically stable.

The statement “illustrated PBOC’s further concerns on the rapid depreciation of the currency … (though) the PBOC would not defend a particular level of the exchange rate especially given the depreciation was driven by continued appreciation of the broad USD,” analysts at Goldman Sachs (NYSE:) said in a note.

Prior to the market opening, the PBOC set the midpoint rate at 7.1102 per dollar, 5 pips firmer than the previous fix of 7.1107.

In the spot market, the onshore yuan finished the domestic session at 7.2 per dollar, 20 pips stronger than the previous late night close of 7.2020.

The yuan hit a low of 7.2521 per dollar on Wednesday, its weakest level since the global financial crisis of 2008.

The also rebounded from its lowest level on record hit a day earlier to trade at 7.2079 per dollar around 0830 GMT.

Currency traders said a retreat in , along with the PBOC’s verbal warnings, helped lift the yuan in morning deals.

The rare strong tone of the warning discouraged many investors from testing new lows in the yuan, said a trader at a foreign bank.

China’s FX regulator chimed in on Thursday afternoon, saying it would improve its market-based, counter-cyclical adjustment mechanism of the FX market to properly react to external shocks in the second half of this year.

Separately, the state-owned Securities Times said in a front-page commentary on Thursday that the yuan is unlikely to continue depreciating rapidly.

Market participants usually view such official remarks and state media commentaries as a sign that authorities are growing uncomfortable with rapid currency movements.

But some analysts said as long as the Federal Reserve continues to raise interest rates aggressively to tame high inflation, the yuan could still face pressure. China is bucking the global tightening trend and continues to ease policy to support its faltering economy.

“We expect upward pressure on to persist amid aggressive Fed hikes,” analysts at ANZ said in note.

“Even though the PBOC will continue to pace the rise in USD/CNY, we expect upward pressure to take the pair to 7.20 by early 2023.”

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