World Economy

Yuan in Longest Losing Streak Since 2015

Yuan in Longest Losing Streak Since 2015Yuan in Longest Losing Streak Since 2015

China’s yuan was heading on Friday for its longest weekly losing streak since November 2015, going against broadly firmer emerging markets after Beijing and Washington squared off at the World Trade Organization.

The United States and China presented radically different visions of Beijing’s economic model at the WTO on Thursday, with Washington’s ambassador criticizing “the world’s most protectionist economy” and his Chinese counterpart describing a US report as “half-cooked”, Reuters reported.

The Chinese currency breached the key 6.8 per dollar level a day after the WTO clash, down 0.5% to 13-month lows. The yuan has been under sustained pressure since US President Donald Trump threatened to impose tariffs on all imports from China.

“It’s tit-for-tat tactics ... it seems a never-ending cycle of measures and counter-measures,” said Cristian Maggio, head of EM strategy at TD Securities. “The market is a bit frustrated with not being able to see the end of this situation.”

The yuan is now set for its seventh week of losses, with investors’ bearish bets on the yuan at an all-time high, according to a Reuters poll.

Maggio said the speed of the move since the start of June was remarkable and raised some concerns, such as whether the decline was fundamentally driven, or policy implementation through other means—weakening the renminbi to offset higher tariffs.

Chinese mainland shares fell 0.4%, but still ended the week up 0.8%.

A strong performance on other bourses helped MSCI’s emerging equities benchmark index gain 0.2%, on track to end the week up almost 2%.

India rose 0.9% to hit a fresh record high, ending the week up over 2%, while Pakistan rallied 0.9% on the day to over one-month highs, as investors welcomed cricket legend Imran Khan’s victory in the general election.

Pakistan shares are set to end the week up 3%, their best performance since March, while the rupee is up 0.5%. South African shares also gained 0.7% and Turkish stocks rose 0.6%.

Turkey’s lira firmed 0.2%, but is set to end the week down 1.3% after the central bank kept interest rates unchanged, defying expectations of a sharp rise.


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