Yuan Drops Most in Three Months as China Widens Band

16/04/2012 12:43 AST

The yuan fell by the most in a week against the dollar as China’s central bank doubled the daily trading band, reflecting declines in emerging-market currencies.

The People’s Bank of China now allows 1 percent moves from a daily fixing, after keeping the limit at 0.5 percent since May 2007. The Dollar Index, tracking the greenback against currencies of trading partners, climbed 0.2 percent, after a 0.8 percent jump on April 13, amid concern Europe’s debt crisis is worsening. One-month implied volatility for the yuan, a measure of exchange-rate swings used to price options, jumped 20 basis points to 2.5 percent, the highest since March 14.

“The yuan is weaker as investors are again worried about Europe and a bit on China’s growth,” said Tommy Ong, the Hong Kong-based senior vice president of treasury and markets at DBS Bank (Hong Kong). “It’s an opportune time for China to widen the band when appreciation expectations aren’t so strong. That won’t induce any massive speculative bets on its currency.”

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