Chinese yuan fell to a four-year low after the central bank said the currency shouldn’t be measured by its moves against the dollar alone, a statement that is being interpreted as a sign it will allow further declines.
Exchange rates are a reflection of trade and investment with multiple countries and the market has to take into account the yuan’s fluctuations against a basket of currencies, the People’s Bank of China said on Friday. The China Foreign Exchange Trade System, which is run by the PBOC to facilitate interbank trading, published a new yuan index composed of 13 currencies, with the dollar accounting for 26.4 percent.
The yuan dropped 0.06 percent to close at 6.4591 a dollar in Shanghai, according to CFETS prices. It earlier declined to 6.4665, the weakest since July 2011. While the currency has retreated 3.9 percent against the greenback this year, it has advanced against 11 of 16 major currencies tracked by Bloomberg. The PBOC on Monday cut its reference rate by 0.21 percent to a four-year low of 6.4495.
“The latest move suggests the PBOC will allow weaker yuan fixings,” said Tommy Ong, managing director for treasury and markets at DBS Hong Kong Ltd. “The yuan is also under pressure as the U.S. is likely to hike rates this week.”
The central bank has lowered the reference rate, which limits the onshore currency’s moves to 2 percent on either side, on eight of the 10 trading days since winning reserve-currency status at the International Monetary Fund on Nov. 30. This fueled speculation that the authority is trying to release pent-up depreciation pressure before the Federal Reserve meets Dec. 15-16.
In Hong Kong’s offshore market, the yuan dropped 0.27 percent to 6.5497 a dollar as of 4:46 p.m. local time, extending a six-day decline to 1.6 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That took its spread to the onshore spot rate to 906 pips, above an average of 511 pips in the past month. The PBOC has been seen propping up the yuan’s exchange rate in Hong Kong periodically to narrow the difference.
The yuan’s one-month implied volatility, a gauge of expected price swings, surged 68 basis points on Monday to 6.72 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It earlier rose to 6.76 percent, the highest since August.
“With the wider spread between onshore and offshore yuan, the intervention risk in the offshore market is now higher and will be more likely to happen after the Fed meeting this week,” said DBS’s Ong.
The PBOC on Friday also released guidelines on free trade zones in the provinces of Guangdong and Fujian as well as Tianjin city, granting companies registered in the area up to $10 million in capital-account convertibility quotas. In the Guangdong zone, individuals can borrow yuan funds from Hong Kong and Macau for property purchases within the area, the central bank said.
The introduction of a multi-currency index helps guide the public view of the yuan’s exchange rate, which will contribute to keeping the currency “basically stable at an adaptive and equilibrium level,” the PBOC said on Friday. That reinforces other recent statements suggesting an increased focus on broader moves rather than just against the dollar, according to a Goldman Sachs Group Inc. note. It forecast that the yuan will weaken to 6.6 a dollar in a year.
Referencing the yuan to a list of currencies doesn’t mean the exchange rate is pegged to that basket, according to an article published on the PBOC website and written by an unidentified CFETS commentator. China’s ample foreign-exchange reserves and trade surplus should keep the yuan reasonably stable at a reasonable level, it said.
“This underscores how China’s authorities are increasingly looking at the currency in a much broader context, moving away from a focus on the dollar, and so too should market participants,” HSBC Holdings Plc analysts included Paul Mackel wrote in a note dated Dec. 12. “But this does not mean China is going to formally target a currency basket like Singapore does. We see the yuan at 6.50 by end-15 and 6.70 end-16, amid greater two-way volatility.”
Naira Exchange Rate Dips at Official Market and Black Market
The Nigerian Naira opened the week lower against the United States Dollar at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) foreign exchange window now adopted as the official forex window and also at the black market.
The local currency opened at N417.30 against the United States Dollar before declining by 0.60% to close the day at N421.50/$ at the I&E window. Forex traders at the window transacted forex worth $70.68 million on Monday.
For banks and international money transfer operators, the Central Bank of Nigeria buys US Dollars at N414.75 and sells at N415.75. The apex bank buys and sells Pounds Sterling N508.2761 and N509.5016, respectively. For the European common currency, the Euro, the central bank sold it at N433.0453 and acquired it at N432.0036 a unit.
At the parallel market popularly known as the black market, the Naira was exchanged at N599 for a United States Dollar in Abuja.
Speaking on why the exchange rate is that high, Abu Abdullahi, a currency trader at Zone 4 in Abuja, said demand for the U.S. Dollar is high despite persistent scarcity.
Crude oil extended its gain in the early hours of Tuesday on optimism that China, the world’s largest importer of the commodity, would see substantial demand recovery after the latest data pointed to slowing COVID-19 infections in the hardest-hit areas.
Brent crude oil, the international benchmark for Nigerian crude oil, gained $2.69, or 2.4% to $114.24 a barrel at 5 am Nigerian time. The U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose $3.71, or 3.4%, to $114.20 a barrel, Investors King understands.
“We are seeing a lot of signals that demand will start returning in that region, supporting higher prices,” said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho.
Finally, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies shake off Luna-led decline to pare losses on Tuesday. Luna Foundation Guard (LFG) announced in the late hours of Monday that it was discontinuing Luna Coin and stablecoin (UST) operations to launch a new blockchain protocol that would focus on developers and building in general.
The announcement marked the end of one of the most promising cryptocurrency projects and once again reminds the world of how vulnerable the cryptocurrency space is — regardless of what creators say.
Bitcoin gained 1.99% to $30,366 per coin while Eth, a token of Ethereum, XRP (token of Ripple) and Solana appreciated by 3.15%, 3.25% and 4.39% to close at $2,084.27, $0.431744 and $55.86, respectively.
Black Market: Dollar to Naira Exchange Rate Remains Under Pressure
1 dollar to naira today on the black market was N585 and purchased at N590 in Ibadan and Lagos
The Nigerian Naira remained under pressure against global counterparts in the Nigerian unregulated parallel market, popularly known as the black market. $1 dollar to naira today on the black market was N585 and purchased at N590 in Ibadan and Lagos.
At the Investors and Exporters’ forex window, the Dollar to Naira exchange rate dipped by 0.24% to N419 from N417.70 it exchanged on Thursday.
For the interbank market, Investors King observed that the Nigerian Naira remained largely unchanged at N415.74 against the U.S. Dollar.
Bitcoin to Naira exchange rate remained subdued as the uncertainty surrounding the cryptocurrency space surged to a record-high following about a 99% plunge in the value of Terra Luna Coin and its stablecoin, UST.
Bitcoin to Naira exchange rate dropped by 1.49% in the last 24 hours to N17.859 million. While Eth, a token of the Ethereum protocol dipped by 0.34% to N1.232 million, down from about N2 million it traded a few weeks ago.
The uncertainty in the cryptocurrency space also dragged on the Binance coin (BNB) as the coin of the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange platform moderated to N179,834 a coin, a 0.50% decline in its value.
Luna, the cryptocurrency that once again alerted the world to the vulnerability of unregulated space, is presently trading at N0.120 per coin, down from about N57,000 it was trading a week ago.
Oil prices fell on Monday as the uncertainty surrounding China, the world’s second-largest economy, continues to drag on the commodity outlook.
Brent crude, the benchmark for Nigerian crude oil dipped by 0.7%, or 72 cents to $110.83 per barrel at 11:45 am on Monday. While the U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil fell by 0.5%, or 58 cents to $109.91 a barrel.
The decline was a result of the prolonged COVID-19 lockdown in china. China, the world’s largest importer of crude oil, is said to have instituted lockdown restrictions in about 46 cities to curb the spreading COVID-19.
However, this lockdown has started disrupting China’s economic activity as retail sales contracted by 11% while factory production dropped by 2.9% in the month of April.
Experts are now predicting that despite Russia’s sanction, crude oil prices could drop further if the Chinese lockdown persists.
Africa, World to Enjoy More Payment Satisfaction Through eNaira – CBN says
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said the adoption of its Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) known as eNaira will deepen financial inclusion
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said the adoption of its Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) known as eNaira will deepen financial inclusion, ease the nation’s payment bottleneck and support transborder transactions across Africa and beyond.
Godwin Emefile, the governor of the apex bank disclosed this on Monday while receiving Bank of Uganda delegates, who were on an experience sharing tour of the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), in Abuja.
He said, “the CBDC would enhance the relationship between mobile banking and e-business and speed up the rate of financial inclusion.”
“The eNaira, being the first of its kind for a large country like Nigeria, was attracting the interests of many countries, Uganda inclusive.
“We’ve been receiving enquiries from various Central Banks in different parts of Africa and the world, trying to understand what we are doing in the area of CBDC. We are happy that the IMF and World Bank have recognised what we are doing in the area of CBDC.
“However, the country has deepened its payment system infrastructure, and is ranked among the best in the world.”
What it is
Earlier in October 2021, Investors king reported that the Central Bank of Nigeria launched the eNaira, after over 20 days of supposed launch.
The eNaira is a Central Bank Digital Currency backed by law and issued by the CBN as a legal tender. It is the digital form of the Naira used as cash.
The Digital currency was introduced to provide high‐value and time‐critical payment services to financial institutions, and ultimately serves as the backbone for every electronic payment in Nigeria,” President Muhammadu Buhari said.
Nigeria became the first country in Africa and one of the first in the world to introduce a digital currency to our citizens, according to Investors king.
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