Shanghai: China’s central bank on Wednesday fixed the yuan currency nearly 0.60% weaker against the US dollar, according to the national foreign exchange market, the biggest downward move since devaluing the unit in August last year.
The People’s Bank of China set the value of the yuan—also known as the renminbi (RMB)—at 6.4943 to $1.0, weakening 0.59% from the fix of 6.4565 the previous day, according to data from the Foreign Exchange Trade System.
China only allows the yuan to rise or fall 2% on either side of the daily fix, one of the ways it maintains control over the currency.
Analysts said the weaker fix was in line with strength in the US dollar on Tuesday, as financial authorities seek to make trading more market oriented.
The dollar rose against most of its peers Tuesday as global growth worries swept equity markets and pushed oil prices lower, boosting demand for the safe-haven US currency.
“To maintain a stable currency market, the RMB weakened accordingly," Liu Xuezhi, an analyst at the Bank of Communications, told AFP.
Wednesday’s cut came after China on Friday raised the yuan-dollar exchange rate by 0.56% from the previous day, the biggest increase in almost 11 years.
“I think China wants to keep the market guessing on its fixings," Mitul Kotecha, head of Asia FX and rates strategy at Barclays in Singapore, told AFP.
“It remains difficult to forecast on each day," he said, adding that would help prevent speculation on the currency, a Chinese policy goal.
The world’s second-largest economy rattled global investors with a surprise devaluation last August, when it guided the normally stable yuan down nearly 5% over a week.
The yuan was quoted at 6.5000 at 4:30 pm (0830 GMT) on Wednesday, down 0.40% from Tuesday’s close of 6.4743, according to the Foreign Exchange Trade System.