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Home >> Business
UPDATED: 15:14, September 19, 2006
RMB value against U.S. dollar hits new high
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The value of the Renminbi (RMB) against the U.S. dollar hit a new high on Tuesday.

The central parity rate of the RMB against the U.S. dollar was set by the People's Bank of China at 7.9342 yuan on Tuesday. The previous day the central parity rate was set at 7.9431 yuan to the U.S. dollar.

China has seen a continuous appreciation in its RMB since the central bank raised the one-year benchmark interest rate on Aug. 19. The country's rocketing trade surplus has given the RMB a boost.

Last month China's trade surplus hit a monthly high of 18.8 billion U.S. dollars, with exports rising 32.8 percent to 90.77 billion U.S. dollars.

Market observers are expecting a further widening of the daily floating band between the RMB and the U.S. dollar.

China set a floating band of 0.3 percent when it launched reforms of the RMB exchange rate system last July. The floating band allows the yuan to rise or fall 0.3 percent on the inter-bank foreign exchange market.

On Monday, the RMB's value against the U.S. dollar on the inter-bank market rose 0.29 percent from the set central parity rate.

The United States and other major trading partners have urged China to make the yuan's exchange rate more flexible. They contend that restrictions keep it artificially low, boosting China's exports and contributing to its enormous trade surplus.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, however, has been careful to avoid statements that appear to pressure China on the sensitive issue of currency reform on the eve of his first official visit to China.

"I am not looking for immediate solutions or quick fixes to any particular economic issue," he told reporters in Singapore on Monday when attending a meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Zhou Xiaochuan, Governor of the People's Bank of China who also attended the IMF meeting there, reiterated that China will reform its foreign exchange regime in a "gradual, effective, and controllable" way.

When interviewed by reporters, Zhou said that China is a big country and has to consider many aspects in its policy making.

"But the direction of China's foreign exchange regime is fixed, there will be no turning back," said Zhou.

The IMF said last week that China is transparent in reforming its exchange rate regime and suggested that China let market forces determine allocations of resources more effectively.

"I want to really commend the Chinese authorities for the transparency on this issue (exchange rate reform)," said IMF Managing Director Rodrigo de Rato at a press conference in Singapore.

Rato said China made the right decision last year to reform its exchange rate regime.

The reform is not only in the interest of China's exchange rate regime, but also in the interest of its overall economy, he said.

Source: Xinhua

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