Chinese yuan slips amid global gloom, stocks stage late rally

SHANGHAI, Rabi’II 4, 1437, Jan 14, 2016, SPA — China’s yuan currency slipped despite the efforts of the authorities on Thursday, as the gloom in global markets obscured signs that China’s economy may not be weakening as fast as some investors had feared, Reuters reported.

After a fragile morning, the country’s stock markets finished strongly, though they remain sharply down for the year and just a few percentage points above their lowest ebb during last summer’s crash, a level some say Beijing would pull out the stops to defend.

The turbulent start to 2016, with the currency and stock markets tumbling, had stoked concerns that Beijing was losing its grip on economic policy, just as the country looks set to post its slowest growth in 25 years.

China’s central bank set a firmer mid-point rate for the yuan on Thursday, signalling its determination to hold the line against expectations of sustained depreciation of a currency that has lost 5 percent of its value against the dollar since August.

The yuan, nonetheless, weakened during the day.

The People’s Bank of China set the midpoint for the tightly managed currency at 6.5616 per dollar on Thursday, firmer than the previous fix of 6.563 and Wednesday’s close of 6.5743.

Asian share markets weakened across the board on Thursday, hit by steep losses on Wall Street overnight as a rout in oil prices heightened worries about the global economy.

China’s main stock indexes, however, reversed direction in the afternoon session, pulling the Shanghai Composite Index back over the 3,000 mark to end up 2 percent, while the CSI300 index closed up 2.1 percent.

–SPA
13:17 LOCAL TIME 10:17 GMT