Major Chinese banks ditching US dollar to prop up domestic currency

RT – July 3, 2018

China’s state-owned banks have reportedly been buying US dollars in forwards on behalf of the central bank (PBOC) and immediately selling them on the spot market for yuan to support the domestic currency.

PBOC deputy governor and head of the foreign exchange regulator Pan Gongsheng said China was confident it could keep the yuan basically stable and at a “reasonable” level.

A government central bank buys domestic currency when it wants to strengthen it. By protecting the buying power of domestic currency the country protects its citizens from inflation risks and rising consumer prices.

The government can also weaken domestic currency by selling it on the foreign exchange market. While hurting the domestic consumer, this step helps major export economies, such as China. It makes export goods cheaper to produce at home and, therefore, more competitive on the global market.

“It feels like the state-owned banks are stocking up on bullets to prevent the yuan from falling too much,” an unnamed trader at a Chinese bank in Shanghai told Reuters.

In early trade on Tuesday, yuan weakened to a low of 6.7204 against the dollar, the lowest since August 7, 2017. The Chinese currency’s downturn comes ahead of July 6, when US tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods are to kick in. Beijing has promised to retaliate with tariffs on US products.

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Death of US dollar? China launches petro-yuan to challenge greenback’s dominance

RT – March 26, 2018

The highly anticipated yuan-backed crude oil futures have been launched in Shanghai. China is the world’s biggest oil consumer, with eyes on rival benchmarks Brent and WTI as well as the US currency.

Trading of the new oil futures contracts for September settlement started on the Shanghai International Energy Exchange at 440.20 yuan ($69.70) per barrel, reports Chinese daily the South China Morning Post. Some 18,540 lots have reportedly been sold and purchased so far.

The long-awaited step evoked a surge in global prices for oil with Brent Crude soaring to $71 a barrel for the first time since 2015. US crude benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) reached the highest level in three years at $66.55 per barrel, before retreating to $65.53.

Experts see China’s yuan-dominated contracts as historic as the new futures symbolize the first time that foreign investors can access a Chinese commodity market. The launch ends years of setbacks and delays since the country’s first attempt at listing the securities in 1993.

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Russia-China bond market play could kick-start new dollarless financial system

RT – December 4, 2017

The Moscow stock exchange will soon issue nearly $1 billion-worth of yuan-denominated bonds. It could become the start of a new financial system not based on the US dollar, analysts say.

Russia will issue the 6 billion yuan (about $900 million) bonds with a five-year maturity in December or January. The Central Bank says it is testing the water for future investments.

Such steps will make it possible to remove the dollar from mutual settlements and use only yuan and rubles (mostly yuan for the moment) in the mid-term, if more specialists from the Russian financial sector work in this direction,” Gleb Zadoya, Head of Analytics at Analitika Online told RT.

Russian bonds in yuan could be interesting for the Chinese, as China has trillions of dollars of excessive liquidity, as well as hundreds of thousands of new investors who are interested in trying new markets, the analyst said.

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China’s launch of ‘petro-yuan’ in two months sounds death knell for dollar’s dominance

RT – October 25, 2017

One of the world’s top energy importers, China, is set to roll out a yuan-denominated oil contract as early as this year. Analysts call the plan, announced by Beijing in September, a huge move against the dollar’s global dominance.

The so-called petro-yuan is a “wake up call” for investors who haven’t paid attention to the Chinese plans, according to the head of Graticule Asset Management Asia Adam Levinson, as quoted by Bloomberg.

Earlier this year, the Chinese government announced plans to start a crude oil futures contract priced in yuan and convertible into gold. The contract will enable the country’s trading partners to pay with gold or to convert yuan into gold without the necessity to keep money in Chinese assets or turn it into US dollars.

The new benchmark will reportedly allow exporters, such as Russia, Iran or Venezuela to avoid US sanctions by trading oil in yuan.

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