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Source: Reuters

Yuan rises in NDFs as China hints FX flexibility

Published: 11 Nov 2009 21:08:05 PST

* China to guide yuan with eye on major currencies

* Dollar/yuan NDFs hit 3-week low

* U.S. yuan critics urge Obama keep campaign promise

SHANGHAI, Nov 12 - The yuan rose slightly against the dollar in benchmark offshore one-year non-deliverable forwards (NDFs) on Thursday as the overseas market expected the yuan may appreciate after the Chinese central bank said it will consider major currencies in guiding the yuan, dealers said.

In a departure from past language, the central bank said on Wednesday it would improve the yuan exchange rate mechanism based on changes in capital flows and fluctuations in the values of major currencies when guiding the value of the yuan.

"The wording change in the central bank's report hints that the central bank will allow the yuan to appreciate sooner or later," said a dealer at an Asian bank in Shanghai. "So, that has guided the overseas market's increased expectations for yuan appreciation."

Offshore, benchmark one-year dollar/yuan NDFs hit 3-week lows at 6.5850 bid on Thursday compared with Wednesday's close of 6.6075.

Twelve-month yuan appreciation implied by NDFs, which moves inversely with the forwards, rose slightly to 3.67 percent measured from the Chinese central bank's daily mid-point, compared with 3.32 percent implied at Wednesday's close.

But U.S. critics of China's currency policy said in Washington on Wednesday they were sceptical of a hint from Beijing that it could soon let its yuan rise against the dollar again after an 18-month hiatus.

Spot yuan edged lower, trading at 6.8266 at midday on Thursday, compared with Wednesday's close of 6.8259.

The Chinese central bank fixed the yuan's daily mid-point, or reference rate, at a 6.8268 versus the dollar, compared with Wednesday's level of 6.8267.

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