The yuan fell for the first time in seven days on speculation investors are buying the greenback to benefit from recent gains in the Chinese currency.
The yuan slipped 0.08 percent to close at 6.1583 per dollar in Shanghai, China Foreign Exchange Trade System prices show. It gained 0.42 percent in the last six trading days and touched 6.1520 yesterday, the strongest level since March 17. The yuan fell 1.7 percent in 2014, after rallying in each of the last four years, as the central bank guided the currency weaker to discourage speculation it will keep gaining.
“There could be some profit-taking in the market given the yuan has gained quite rapidly in recent weeks,” said Kenix Lai, a Hong Kong-based currency analyst at Bank of East Asia Ltd. “The PBOC will be careful to avoid a resurgence of one-way yuan appreciation bets. However, China’s improving fundamentals will continue to support gradual yuan gains in the second half.”
Asia’s largest economy posted a record trade surplus of $47.3 billion in July, according to data released last week. The yuan may not keep appreciating in the second half, according to a front-page commentary in the China Securities Journal today, as the People’s Bank of China boosted the reference rate by 0.01 percent to 6.1517, the strongest level since July 15.
In Hong Kong’s offshore market, the yuan dropped 0.09 percent, the most since July 10, to 6.1616 per dollar, data compiled by Bloomberg show. It reached 6.1510 yesterday, the strongest level since March 14. Twelve-month non-deliverable forwards fell 0.11 percent to 6.2355, a 1.2 percent discount to the Shanghai spot rate.
One-month implied volatility in the onshore yuan, a gauge of expected swings in the exchange rate used to price options, declined seven basis points, or 0.07 percentage point, to 1.49 percent.