China is evaluating the potential impact of a gradual yuan depreciation, people familiar with the matter said, as the country’s leaders weigh their options in a trade spat with U.S. President Donald Trump that has roiled financial markets worldwide.
Senior Chinese officials are studying a two-pronged analysis of the yuan that was prepared by the government, the people said. One part looks at the effect of using the currency as a tool in trade negotiations with the U.S., while a second part examines what would happen if China devalues the yuan to offset the impact of any trade deal that curbs exports.
The analysis doesn’t mean officials will carry out a devaluation, which would require approval from top leaders, the people said, asking not to be named as the information is private. The yuan weakened as much as 0.2 percent to 6.3186 per dollar in onshore trading on Monday before trading little changed as of 5:49 p.m. local time. China’s central bank didn’t immediately respond to a faxed request for comment.
“It seems as if Beijing is showing the full extent of policies they could deploy,” said Viraj Patel, a strategist at ING Bank NV in London.
While Trump regularly bashed China on the campaign trail for keeping its currency artificially weak, the yuan has gained about 9 percent against the greenback since he took office and has been steady in recent weeks despite an escalation of trade tensions between the world’s two largest economies. The Chinese currency touched the strongest level since August 2015 last month.
Yuan in Play?
China is said to evaluate the potential impact of a gradual yuan depreciation
Other markets have been far more turbulent as both the...