Jun 10, 2005

China's Peg Planning

From the NYT:
China's political leadership is actively considering breaking the 11-year link between the dollar and China's currency, the yuan, and tying its value instead to a group of currencies, current and former senior Chinese officials said in interviews. The proposal being weighed at almost daily meetings of the Standing Committee of the Chinese Communist Party's Politburo would use a so-called basket of currencies to set the yuan's value. The yuan would move up and down in currency markets in relation to the average values of the dollar, yen, euro and possibly other currencies like the British pound.

But the initial value of the yuan under the new system could, in dollar terms, be very close to its current value of 8.277 to the dollar.
The Politburo's Standing Committee - which includes President Hu Jintao, Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and seven other top officials - has made no decision yet on when or whether to act, and may decide soon or wait as long as next year, the officials said. But the deliberations have taken on a pressing quality, with the Standing Committee meeting almost every day last week to review currency policy. Senior economic officials have been told to be on hand for consultations at any moment.
In a telling instance, Yang Weizhe, the mother of Zhou Xiaochuan, the governor of the Chinese central bank, died at 6:30 a.m. on May 31, but Mr. Zhou was still required to attend a Standing Committee meeting on the currency an hour and a half later.


Victor Fung, a Hong Kong tycoon who is chairman of one of the world's largest garment companies and heads the territory's airport authority, said, "They recognize the need to go away from a peg and move toward a basket."
Mr. Fung said each currency's percentage in the basket should match the percentage of China's trade conducted in that currency, an approach favored by many economists. He also said that China should reveal the relative weightings of the currencies in the basket.
But other advisers said Chinese officials were leaning strongly toward switching to a basket without disclosing the currency weightings. Singapore has long done this with its dollar.
A few weeks ago speculative pressures were the reason for not moving. The current sentiment (knowing it is coming but it will be small and hard to time) is probably the best Chinese politicians can hope for.

They sure seem to be focusing on the finer details right now. In currencies I have quite a few yen longs on and most recently shorted AUD/JPY near here (stop at 83.5). That chart is bouncing along just on top of a long uptrend and looks set to have a big reaction to any yen strength. Other than oil, the commodity stocks have not put in much of a recovery so I am also watching the AUD to see if it is pointing out continued weakness there.

No comments:

Post a Comment