【英语财经】人民币很长时间内不会实现自由浮动

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2012-10-30 00:22

小艾摘要: With Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney vowing to label China a currency manipulator 'on day one' if he's elected and the once-predictable yuan recently becoming more volatile in daily trad ...
With Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney vowing to label China a currency manipulator 'on day one' if he's elected and the once-predictable yuan recently becoming more volatile in daily trading, some have inevitably begun to wonder when Beijing might finally set the currency free.

Answer: Not for a long time.

China's central bank, the People's Bank of China, still guides the longer-term moves of the yuan, also known as the renminbi, through a daily rate it sets before foreign-exchange trading starts in the mainland. That rate, called the parity rate, often differs from the yuan's closing level the previous day, reflecting the Chinese central bank's intention for the yuan's direction.

Some Chinese scholars argue that it is necessary for the PBOC to keep its control over the parity rate as a way to keep the exchange rate stable, even though they agree that China needs to have a free-floating currency as part of a broader reform of the country's financial sector.

'The moves to make the renminbi convertible will lead to greater capital flows across borders, which would then lead to big swings in the foreign-exchange rate,' said Ding Zhijie, a professor at University of International Business and Economics in Beijing. 'This kind of fluctuation needs to be avoided through foreign-exchange management because it could destabilize the economy,' Mr. Ding said.

On Friday, the yuan again hit the upper limit of its daily trading band, which allows the currency to rise and fall daily to 1% above or below the parity rate, finishing at 6.2489 to the dollar. So far, the yuan has been back on the appreciation course for about three months, after having weakened consistently against the dollar in the first half of the year.

The yuan's growing volatility could help deflect criticism by the U.S., where the yuan's value has become an issue in the current election campaign. Some have even go so far as to wonder out loud whether Beijing isn't secretly trying to help Mr. Obama in his fight against Mr. Romney by making it seems as if the president has succeeded in pressuring China to let its currency rise.

What triggered the yuan's recent rally is renewed demand from Chinese companies for the local unit, as declines in interest rates in Western countries have led them to exchange the weakening dollar for the stronger yuan.

Some analysts point out that the renminbi market still lacks the depth and liquidity seen in the markets for more freely-traded currencies. As a result, a few trades could lead to a more dramatic rise or fall in the yuan's value.

Zhao Qingming, a currency specialist at China Construction Bank, said the yuan likely will continue appreciating in the near future thanks to China's wider trade surplus. But he cautions that China's still-soft exports would 'forbid the currency from appreciating too fast.' A stronger yuan makes Chinese goods more expensive in dollar terms.

Mr. Zhao predicts that the yuan would rise between 1% and 3% this year. So far in 2012, it has been up 0.7%.

美国共和党总统候选人罗姆尼(Mitt Romney)曾放言,如果当选,上任第一天他就会把中国定性为汇率操纵国,而近段时间,昔日走势稳定的人民币在每日交易中变得更具波动性。在这样的背景之下,一些人不可避免地猜想北京会在何时终于让人民币自由浮动。

答案:很长时间之内都不会。

Reuters中国央行仍然“指导”着人民币的更长期走势,具体办法是每交易日在内地外汇市场开盘之前设定一个被称为“中间价”的汇率。这个汇率常常有别于前一交易日的收盘价,反映了中国央行对人民币走势的意图。

中国一些学者认为,实现汇率自由浮动应当成为中国整个金融改革的一部分,但他们也认为,中国央行通过控制中间价保持汇率稳定是必要之举。

对外经济贸易大学(University of International Business and Economics)教授丁志杰说,人民币可兑换将带来更大的资本跨境流动,然后引起汇率的大幅波动。他说,这种波动有可能破坏经济稳定,需要通过外汇管理来避免。

上周五人民币再次触及每日波动区间(中间价上下1%)的上限,收于1美元兑6.2489元人民币。人民币在今年上半年对美元持续走软,迄今回到升值轨道已经有三个月左右。

人民币汇率已成为当前这次美国总统选举中的一个争论话题,而人民币更具波动性可望从一个方面打消美国的批评。有些人甚至明确提出,北京是不是在造成奥巴马要求中国升值汇率的努力取得了成功的印象,从而在奥巴马与罗姆尼对战的过程中悄悄地为他帮忙。

造成最近人民币升值的,是中国企业对本币的新需求。西方国家利率的下降,促使中国企业把走弱的美元换成了走强的人民币。

一些分析人士指出,人民币市场仍然缺乏自由浮动货币的市场所具备的深度和流动性,因此少数几笔交易就可以导致人民币汇率更大幅度的波动。

中国建设银行的汇率专家赵庆明说,由于中国贸易顺差扩大,短期内人民币可能还会继续升值。但他提醒,中国出口依旧疲软,人民币无法过快升值。人民币走强会使中国商品的美元价格变得更高。

赵庆明预计今年人民币升值幅度在1%到3%之间。2012年年初迄今,人民币已经升值0.7%。

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