Chinese yuan weakens

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Beijing, Jan 5 (IANS) The central parity rate of the Chinese currency, renminbi (yuan) weakened by 137 basis points to 6.5169 against the US dollar on Tuesday, according to the China Foreign Exchange Trading System.

The yuan hit its lowest level in more than four years in both onshore and offshore trade on Monday, as bad news about the country’s manufacturing activity unnerved investors, Xinhua reported.

The Caixin General China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), an indicator of manufacturing activity, edged down to 48.2 in December from November’s 48.6 percent. The reading was the lowest since September.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below 50 represents contraction.

The yuan has largely been trending down since China’s central bank revamped its foreign exchange mechanism last August to make the currency more market-based.

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The yuan has been losing ground as the Chinese economy hit its slowest pace in a quarter century due to outstanding issues such as housing overhang and excess capacity.

Meanwhile, the US raised its interest rates in December and more hikes are expected in 2016.

The PBOC said in August that there is no basis for steady depreciation of the yuan.

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