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US vote not expected to affect yuan in big way

By XIN ZHIMING | China Daily | Updated: 2016-11-09 06:51

US vote not expected to affect yuan in big way

A voter casts his ballot in the US presidential election at midnight in tiny Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, November 8, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]

The yuan dropped for the third straight day on Tuesday as the US dollar strengthened amid the ongoing US presidential election, but analysts said the election results will not have a major or sustained impact on the yuan's exchange rate.

They also said the dollar's strength might not continue for long, since a weak dollar will better serve US interests, helping it to boost jobs and reduce debt burdens.

The yuan's central parity rate, set by People's Bank of China, the central bank, fell by 92 base points to 6.78 against the dollar on Tuesday.

"The rising dollar is a major contributor to the weakening yuan in the short term," said Liu Dongliang, senior analyst at China Merchants Securities.

The dollar was strong ahead of the US presidential election outcome, as various polls pointed to a strong chance of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton winning. The victor was expected to be known by Wednesday morning Beijing time.

The US dollar index rose by 3.12 percent in October alone, thanks to an expected interest rate increase by the US Federal Reserve and risk-averse investors buying dollars in the financial markets.

In October, the yuan dropped by 1.28 percent against the dollar.

In the middle and long term, however, the yuan's rate will move in accordance with changes in China's economic and financial fundamentals and will not have much to do with the US election results, analysts said.

US vote not expected to affect yuan in big way

An employee counts yuan banknotes at a bank in Huaibei, Anhui province, June 22, 2010.[Photo/Agencies]

Despite criticism of China by the two US nominees for president, the two countries' economic relations, especially trade relations, will not be fundamentally changed, Zhang Huanbo, an economist with the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, was quoted by People's Daily as saying.

Additionally, trade and investment liberalization is set to become a global trend, which also serves US interests, Zhang added.

In the middle and long term, the exchange rate of the yuan will mainly hinge on China's economic and financial stability, said Sun Lijian, an economist at Fudan University in Shanghai.

"Fluctuations in the international financial markets will frequently have a short-term impact on the yuan's rate, but whether the Chinese economy can recover and fare well and whether it can maintain a stable financial environment while pushing financial liberalization reform will decide the long-term trend of the yuan," he said.

Sun said that if the US economy continues to recover in the first half of 2017, its quantitative easing policy might be withdrawn, and policymakers may opt to choose a weak dollar stance to help boost the job market and cut debts.

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