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China Gives Yuan a Little More Room to Float

April 16, 2012 at 13:16 by Miranda Marquit

A fan of 50-yuan billsFor years, other countries have been asking China to let the yuan, also called then renminbi, to float more freely on the currency market. It appears that China is doing that now, with an announcement that the yuan will be allowed to float more freely against the US dollar.

China announced that it will allow the yuan to float a little more freely against the US dollar, allowing the currency to move one per cent to either side of the US dollar currency peg. The yuan will not be a truly free floating currency as a result of the new policy, but it will have a little more flexibility.

For years, Western countries, especially the United States, have charged that the Chinese undervalue their currency, keeping it artificially low against the US dollar. This allows for an edge in exports, as a weaker yuan makes goods cheaper to purchase by consumers in other countries. Many expect that if Chinese policymakers were to ever let the yuan freely float, it would appreciate quite quickly.

This appears to be something of a step in a direction for more flexibility. Chinese leaders can maintain the dollar peg, but slowly ease the yuan into the currency market. Right now, the dollar/yuan is at 6.3149.

If you have any questions, comments or opinions regarding the Chinese Yuan, feel free to post them using the commentary form below.

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