Business / Markets

Fed's rate hike delay eases depreciation pressure on yuan

By Chen Jia and Zhao Yinan ( Updated: 2015-09-18 16:56

Fed's rate hike delay eases depreciation pressure on yuan

The People's Bank of China cut the reference rate against the US dollar to 6.2298 yuan per dollar, down from 6.1162 yuan a day earlier, the lowest level in more than two years.[Photo provided to China Daily]

The US Federal Reserve's decision to delay a rate hike will ease the yuan's depreciation pressure and slow capital outflows from China, preventing unexpected fluctuations in the financial market, experts said.

The Chinese central bank set the yuan's reference exchange rate at 6.3607 per US dollar on Friday, an appreciation of nearly 0.1 percent from Thursday, after the US Fed announced to keep interest rates unchanged.

Chinese stock prices were slightly boosted by 0.38 percent at Friday's close, and the Shanghai Composite Index rose to 3097.92.

A statement released by the Fed's policy-setting committee showed its concerns about a possible slowdown of US economic growth under the tightening monetary condition. It also worried about increasing uncertainties in the global recovery.

Vice Minister of Finance Shi Yaobin said China will assess the effects of the Fed's decision, and take further measures based on the assessment.

"China could be one of the reasons to influence the Fed's decision, but it is not the most important one," said Shi in an exclusive interview with China Daily.

He stressed that as the largest economy, any moves from the US will have a large influence on the global markets. He suggested the US pay more attention to the emerging economies before adjusting their policies.

Even at the current 0-0.25 percent benchmark interest rates, the Fed lowered its long-term outlook for the economy, and maintained its bias towards a rate hike sometime this year.

Ren Zeping, chief economist at Guotai Junan Securities, expected the yuan's value to remain stable in the short term.

"The Fed's decision will moderate speculative money's outflows from China and ease the yuan's depreciation pressure. With a more stable value, there is great possibility for the yuan to be included in the International Monetary Fund's Special Drawing Rights basket in November," he said.

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