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PBOC Extends Chinese Yuan Trading in Mainland Market

PBOC Extends Chinese Yuan Trading in Mainland Market

Renee Mu, Currency Analyst

- The Chinese Yuan trading will be extended for seven hours at the onshore yuan market, easier for North American traders.

- PBOC encourages more qualified foreign institutions to participate in China’s domestic foreign exchange market.

- The Yuan is officially recognized as a legal currency in Zimbabwe after Chinese forgives debt.

PBOC News (China’s Central Bank)

- The People’s Bank of China released a statement on Wednesday regarding Chinese Yuan trading. The trading hours for yuan in mainland China will be extended for an additional seven hours. The current trading hours (local times) are from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm (GMT +8). Starting on January4, 2016, the trading hours will be extended to 11:30 pm (GMT +8).

The spot rate at 4:30 pm under the new regime will still be considered as the closing price. The PBOC explained that trading will mostly happen during the daytime (“peak liquidity”) even after introducing the new hours. Thus, the daytime price better reflects the supply and demand at the foreign exchange market. At night, the liquidity in Chinese financial markets tends to be lower and thus there is a higher chance for extreme volatility.

Furthermore, the central bank will further promote the development of qualified foreign institution investors to participate yuan trading in China. Once the foreign institutions meet the criteria and receive approval from the China Foreign Exchange Trading System Center (CFETS), they are allowed to enter the inter-bank foreign exchange market and trade all the listed products. The yuan products available now include spot rates, forwards, swaps and options.

The new policy marks a vital step that China has taken to promote the development of internationalized yuan trading. The latest developments come after yuan joined the SDR basket and recognized by the IMF as a global reserve currency. The yuan’s new status is likely to lead to higher demand for the currency, albeit slowly over time. As a result, the regulator has decided to extend the trading hours for yuan to make it more eligible to trade for a broader range of investors globally. This is good news for traders in Europe and North America, which both have significant time differences with China: Beijing is GMT +8, while New York is GMT -5. Starting on January 4, 2016, traders in the North America will be able to watch the live yuan rates during the day time.

The China Foreign Exchange Trading System Center (CFETS) is a branch of PBOC located in Shanghai. It published the yuan onshore rates as well as the newly introduced yuan index on a daily basis.

FXCM Inc. offers USD/CNH trading via its FXCM Asia and FXCM UK subsidiaries.

Hexun News (Leading online media of Chinese financial news)

- Zimbabwe announced to adopt the Chinese Yuan as its legal currency after China canceled its $40 million debt. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and PBOC reached the deal that from early 2016, the Chinese yuan will be served as the legal currency, in addition to current one, the US dollar. China now is the largest trading partner of Africa and the second largest trading partner of Zimbabwe.

Becoming the legal currency in Zimbabwe is the result of the yuan’s increasing role in trade settlement and its expanding role as a reserve currency. We have already seen that China signed bilateral currency deals with developed countries such as Australia and Switzerland. At the same time, the new measures promotes yuan’s role in emerging markets in Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia. One of China’s key strategies, “One-Belt-One-Road” strategy is to encourage the use of yuan in 64 developing countries in Asia and Europe.

--- Written by Renee Mu, DailyFX Research Team

DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.

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