Yuan Forwards Snap Two-Day Drop as December Exports Seen Rising

China’s yuan forwards snapped a two-day decline before a report this week that may show exports from Asia’s largest economy picked up last month.

Overseas sales rose 5 percent from a year earlier, compared with a 2.9 percent increase in November, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey before data due Jan. 10. The People’s Bank of China raised the reference rate by 0.04 percent to 6.2872 per dollar. The yuan is allowed to trade as much as 1 percent on either side of the daily fixing.

“There’s a little bit more optimism now compared to last year when there were hard-landing concerns,” said Suan Teck Kin, an economist at United Overseas Bank Ltd. in Singapore. “So far data is better, but not significantly better for the renminbi to move in a big way.”

Twelve-month non-deliverable forwards rose 0.04 percent to 6.3200 per dollar as of 4:43 p.m. in Hong Kong, a 1.4 percent discount to the onshore spot rate, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The contracts strengthened 0.2 percent last week.

The yuan was little changed at 6.2296 per dollar in Shanghai, compared with 6.2303 at the end of last week, according to the China Foreign Exchange Trade System. One-month implied volatility, a measure of expected moves in exchange rates used to price options, held at 1.45 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. In Hong Kong’s offshore market, the yuan advanced 0.04 percent to 6.2128 per dollar, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The yuan is “unlikely” to appreciate “greatly” in future as it is currently near a balanced level, according to a commentary by People’s Bank of China officials including Sheng Songcheng, the head of the monetary authority’s statistics department, published by China Finance on Jan. 4.

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