Forex – Yuan Falls on Weak Chinese Data; Dollar Edges Up


Forex - Yuan Falls on Weak Chinese Data; Dollar Edges Up – The yuan fell on Friday in Asia after China reported a set of weak data.

The USD/CNY pair traded 0.13% higher to 6.8917 by 12:30 AM ET (05:30 GMT).

The fall in the yuan came after official data showed growth in retail sales and industrial output in China slowed more than expected in November.

Retail sales grew 8.1% year on year, compared with the median forecast of 8.8%. The growth was the weakest pace since 2003, according to Reuters’ records.

Growth in industrial output also dipped half a percentage point to notch a year-on-year rise of 5.4%, lower than the 5.9% that markets projected.

On the other hand, fixed-asset investment grew 5.9% from January to November, marginally higher than the previous expected 5.8%.

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) has set the yuan reference rate at 6.8750 vs the previous day’s fix of 6.8769.

Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar index that tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies gained 0.1% to 97.118, as investors awaited an expected U.S. interest rate hike next week.

The Federal Reserve is widely expected to raise interest rates the fourth time this year, but analysts will likely focus more on the policy outlook for 2019, over which there is more uncertainty.

“There is a lot of disagreement in the markets over the Fed’s rate hike course in 2019 with traders expecting anywhere between one to four rate hikes,” said Michael McCarthy, chief markets strategist at CMC markets.

McCarthy said markets will be watching for any revisions in the Fed’s growth and inflation outlook. He sees more upside to the dollar versus the euro and yen if its forward guidance paints a stronger picture for the U.S. economy.

Elsewhere, the USD/JPY pair slipped 0.1% to 113.50.

The AUD/USD pair and the NZD/USD pair were down 0.4% and 0.8% respectively.

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