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Yuan may continue to appreciate

By Wu Yiyao (China Daily)

12:25, June 01, 2013

An employee from the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China is counting the renminbi and Japanese yen in Huaibei, Anhui province, on May 17. The yuan has gained some 20 percent against the yen since the beginning of the year. [Photo/China Daily]

The yuan may be trading at below 6.1 against the US dollar as the Chinese currency continues to rise in the next few months, said a currency analyst at DBS Bank.

A trader with an Asian bank in Shanghai said that the yuan's valuation has peaked for a few days, while sales of dollars are easing.

"Most of my peers working in Shanghai share the opinion that in the short term the renminbi may further appreciate against the US dollar," the trader said.

China's central bank, the People's Bank of China, set the yuan's midpoint at a record-high level of 6.1796 against the US dollar, while the spot yuan closed at 6.1345 per dollar on Friday.

It has been 12 months since Japan's yen and China's yuan became directly convertible, and the yuan has gained some 20 percent against the yen since the beginning of the year.

The appreciation of the yuan and the depreciation of the yen may cast risks to China's currency as it's the only currency which lacks the elasticity of East Asian economies, wrote Liu Yuhui, a financial researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in an article published on Tuesday.

"It has been very difficult for us to guarantee orders from Japan these days because our price advantage disappeared," said Yuan Hongtao, owner of a Hangzhou-based plastic production company, which exports some 40 percent of its products to Japan.

Analysts said that policymakers now have to figure out ways to help companies grow, as the renminbi is increasingly going global.

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