Business / Markets

Researchers predict yuan to depreciate 2%

By WU YIYAO (China Daily) Updated: 2015-01-08 08:24

The yuan may depreciate about 2 percent against the dollar this year amid China's economic slowdown, said a report released on Wednesday in Shanghai.

"With robust economic growth, strong expectations of rising interest rates and lagging economic recoveries in many other countries, the US dollar will further strengthen and appreciate against the yuan," said an annual exchange-rate report by Chen Xuebin and Li Huajian, researchers at the Institute for Financial Studies at Fudan University.

The report said the yuan's value against the dollar may fluctuate by 4 to 5 percent in 2015 amid uncertainty over global economic conditions.

The eurozone countries have been recovering slowly, which may not fundamentally change the sluggish trend of the euro in 2015.

And the yen may further weaken as Japan may maintain its low interest rates and easing policies in the long term. China's currency policies may be further eased in the new year, said the report.

"Current currency policy orientations are not well-matched to the demands of the real economy and of the country. Thus liquidity has not yet flowed from the interbank market to the real economy, but instead has entered the stock market," the report said.

As the yuan might be included in the International Monetary Fund's Special Drawing Rights reserve asset (effectively a basket of reserve currencies), internationalization of the currency may take a big leap in 2015, said market insiders.

"As the renminbi has great prospects of being included in the SDR, mounting numbers of investors have been keen to invest in the currency, which will also help accelerate China's financial market reform," said Nathan Chow, an economist at DBS Bank Ltd.

He said more policies are expected to address the demand for interest rate liberalization, a revised exchange-rate mechanism and renminbi capital account liberalization in the near future.

"This year may see great changes in the renminbi's role in the global economy and China aims to make the yuan a significant currency in global transactions," said Chow.

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