【英语财经】中国央行引导人民币汇率止跌回升 Renminbi rises after PBoC defeats the speculators

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2014-6-10 06:59

小艾摘要: China’s central bank guided the renminbi higher by the most in 20 months yesterday, prompting speculation that Beijing has decided to reverse the biggest depreciation in the currency’s recent histor ...
Renminbi rises after PBoC defeats the speculators
China’s central bank guided the renminbi higher by the most in 20 months yesterday, prompting speculation that Beijing has decided to reverse the biggest depreciation in the currency’s recent history.

The People’s Bank of China set the renminbi midpoint at 6.1485 to the dollar, an appreciation of 0.22 per cent from Friday’s 6.1623 and the strongest rate since March.

Compared with movements of more market-determined currencies, that might seem minuscule, but it was a great leap for China’s tightly controlled exchange rate.

Since it hit an all-time high against the dollar in January, the renminbi has depreciated more than 3 per cent, driven down by active intervention from the central bank, which manages the currency within a narrow band.

That is the strongest depreciation since Beijing unpegged the currency from the dollar in 2005 and allowed it gradually and steadily to appreciate about 30 per cent.

Yesterday’s appreciation signal came after China recorded a monthly trade surplus of $36bn in May, its biggest monthly surplus in five-and-a-half years, according to official data released at the weekend.

Exports rose 7 per cent in May from a year earlier while imports fell 1.6 per cent, suggesting weakness in the domestic economy.

Such a large trade surplus will increase pressure from the US, which has long complained that China interferes in the market to keep its currency artificially weak and to make its exporters more competitive.

Jacob Lew, US Treasury secretary, was in Beijing last month to highlight Washington’s concern over the run of depreciation.

Yesterday’s sharp appreciation by the central bank may have been intended to head off US and international pressure in the wake of the latest trade figures.

It may also be part of the central bank’s long-term plan to allow the market gradually to take a larger role in determining the exchange rate.

“We know the [PBoC] wants more volatility but not too much volatility,” said Stephen Green, chief economist for Greater China at Standard Chartered bank.

“The policy they outlined at the end of last year consisted of widening the trading band, reducing intervention in the market, allowing more volatility and allowing the market to feel what it is like to have more volatility.”

The PBoC’s main motivation in driving down the value of the renminbi in recent months appears to have been a desire to punish speculators, who had been fuelling large capital inflows through bets on continued one-way appreciation of the currency.

Such speculative inflows, which had been complicating Chinese monetary policy, have dwindled in recent months and may have gone into reverse. This has allowed Beijing quietly to declare victory and halt depreciation.

However, market expectations of continued depreciation could be equally problematic for China and its capital controls if they led to capital flight.

The renminbi spot rate increased about 0.17 per cent yesterday, increasing the gap between the fix and the spot.

This suggests that the Chinese currency might weaken further in the absence of official support.

中国央行昨日引导人民币汇率走高,单日升幅达到20个月来最高水平,促使市场猜测北京方面已决定逆转人民币近年最大幅度的一轮贬值

中国人民银行(PBoC)周一设定的人民币中间价为1美元兑6.1485元人民币,相比上周五的1美元兑6.1623元人民币上涨0.22%,而且是人民币自3月以来的最高中间价。

相比在更大程度上由市场决定汇率的货币的变动,这可能看上去微不足道,但对中国严格控制的汇率而言,这是一个很大的飞跃。

自今年1月创下兑美元的最高汇率纪录以来,人民币已累计贬值逾3%,被中国央行的积极干预压低;中国央行在一个狭窄的浮动区间内管理人民币汇率。

这是北京方面在2005年决定不再盯住美元以来人民币出现的最大跌幅,此轮下跌之前人民币汇率逐渐稳步地升值了大约30%。

昨天传出升值信号之前,根据周末发布的官方数据,5月份中国录得360亿美元贸易顺差,这是五年半以来的最大单月顺差。

5月出口同比增长7%,而进口同比下降1.6%,似乎表明国内经济疲弱。

如此之大的贸易顺差将增加来自美国的压力;美国长期抱怨中国干预市场,人为压低人民币汇率,使本国的出口企业更具竞争力。

美国财长杰克?卢(Jack Lew)上月访问北京,转达美方对人民币此轮贬值的担忧。

昨日中国央行引导人民币大幅走高,可能是为了在最新贸易数据出炉后化解美国和国际上的压力。

此举也可能是央行长期计划的一部分,目的是逐渐让市场在决定汇率方面发挥更大作用。

“我们知道(中国央行)希望有更多波动,但又不能有太大波动,”渣打(Standard Chartered)大中华区研究部主管王志浩(Stephen Green)表示。

“他们在去年底阐述的政策包括扩大交易区间,减少干预市场,允许更多波动,并且让市场感受一下波动性加大是什么样的。”

中国央行在近几个月压低人民币的主要动机似乎是要惩罚投机者,这些人押注人民币持续单向升值,由此推动了巨额资本流入。

造成中国货币政策复杂化的此类投机资本流入,已在近几个月减少,可能已经逆转。这使得北京方面静悄悄地宣告胜利,并叫停贬值。

然而,对中国和中国的资本管制而言,有关人民币持续贬值的市场预期如果导致资本外逃,可能同样成问题。

昨日,人民币即期汇率上升约0.17%,即期汇率与中间价之间的差距进一步拉大。

这似乎表明,若没有官方的支撑,人民币可能进一步走低。

译者/和风

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