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Any Fed moves will have 'controllable' impact: SAFE

By ZHOU LANXU | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2021-07-24 07:12

A teller counts cash at a bank branch in Hangzhou, capital of East China's Zhejiang province. [Photo by Hu Jianhuan/For China Daily]

Any possible tapering of monetary stimulus by the US Federal Reserve would have a "controllable" impact on China's cross-border capital flows, with the Chinese yuan set to maintain a generally stable rate with higher flexibility against the US dollar, the country's foreign exchange regulator said on Friday.

China's robust economic recovery, the strong appeal of Chinese financial assets and a relatively low reliance on external debts will combine to give the world's second-largest economy an advantage in reacting to the changes in external environment, said Wang Chunying, spokeswoman of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE).

"The global need for asset allocation in yuan-denominated assets is higher than the need for holding assets denominated in currencies of other emerging market economies," Wang said, referring to the lower valuation of Chinese stocks and higher yield of Chinese bonds.

According to the World Bank's forecast in June, China's GDP is expected to grow 8.5 percent this year. If this comes to pass, the growth rate would be the highest among G20 economies, providing a solid foundation that can help withstand external shocks, Wang said.

The SAFE, nevertheless, will still pay heed to potential risks brought by any changes in Fed's policy and will stay well-prepared, Wang said.

Any possible balance sheet reduction or interest rate hike by the Fed could strengthen the greenback and therefore worsen the cross-border capital flows of emerging market economies, she said.

Amid persistent uncertainties, the Chinese yuan will likely see two-way fluctuations, but will "remain generally stable within a reasonable range", Wang said.

The yuan has been generally stable with higher two-way flexibility in the first half of the year. The central parity of the onshore yuan against the US dollar came in at 6.4601 on June 30, compared with 6.5408 on Jan 4, the first trading day of the year.

The rate of fluctuation of the onshore yuan against the greenback came in at 3.1 percent in the first half of the year, close to that of many developed economies' currencies, official data showed.

The higher yuan flexibility has reflected the uncertainties in international markets and the fruits of the country's efforts to reform the foreign exchange market toward a more market-oriented system.

Meanwhile, China's sound economic fundamentals and balanced international payments have safeguarded the general stability of its currency despite uncertainties, Wang said.

"This trend will continue in the second half of the year," Wang said. "The economy will remain stable in the long term and make new progress as reform and opening-up deepen, while the situation of international payments has sustained a steady development."

The country will constantly deepen reform and opening-up in foreign exchange management, steadily and properly advancing the opening of the capital account, expanding the pilots of cross-border trade payment facilitation and enriching the products and participants of the foreign exchange market, she said.

A country's capital account is composed of cross-border movement of capital by way of investments and loans, while its currentaccount deals mainly with import and export of goods and services.

The capital account measures the changes in national ownership of assets, as part of a country's balance of payments that records all transactions made between entities in one country with entities in the rest of the world.

 

 

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