April 25 (Bloomberg) -- China’s yuan strengthened for a second day after Premier Wen Jiabao said China’s economy will avoid a sharp slowdown and as data added to evidence a U.S. recovery is gaining traction.
Wen said at a press conference in Stockholm yesterday that the world’s second-biggest economy will sustain “steady and robust” growth and will continue to commit to “reform and opening up.” New homes in the U.S. were sold at a 328,000 annual rate in March, compared with the 319,000 pace forecast in a Bloomberg News survey. The PBOC strengthened the reference rate 0.13 percent to 6.2923 per dollar, near to this year’s average fixing of 6.3056.
The yuan rose 0.05 percent to close at 6.3041 in Shanghai, according to the China Foreign Exchange Trade System. The currency is allowed to trade 1 percent on either side of the daily fixing and Thio predicts it will appreciate to 6.21 by the end of the year. One-month implied volatility for the currency, a measure of exchange-rate swings used to price options, stayed at a six-week low of 2.1 percent.
“It’s been external sentiment that’s mainly affecting the yuan recently,” said Chin Loo Thio, a senior analyst at BNP Paribas in Singapore. “Yuan volatility is going to remain low as the U.S. dollar has been quite stagnant.”
Twelve-month non-deliverable forwards weakened 0.05 percent to 6.3518 per dollar, a 0.8 percent discount to the onshore spot rate, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. In Hong Kong’s offshore market, the yuan was little changed at 6.3070.
China’s economic performance still faces downward pressure and the domestic and external situations are still “grim,” the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said in a statement today.
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