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FOREX-Yuan pressured as Evergrande risks grow; oil lifts commodity currencies
Published at 21/09/2021 at 07:04

By Kevin Buckland

TOKYO, Sept 21 (Reuters) - The offshore yuan lingered near an almost one-month low on Tuesday while safe-haven currencies including the dollar benefited as investors sought shelter from a potential default by property developer China Evergrande.

Commodity currencies gained amid a rally in crude oil prices, with the Canadian dollar getting an additional boost from a projected election victory for the country's ruling party.

The yuan edged up about 0.1% to 6.4765 per dollar after weakening as far as 6.4879 on Monday, its lowest since Aug. 23. Mainland markets are shut for a public holiday.

"It feels like the market was waiting on something from the Chinese authorities over the weekend to calm the markets and ring-fence the contagion worries from a looming Evergrande default, and that didn’t come," Chris Weston, head of research at brokerage Pepperstone in Melbourne, wrote in a client note.

"Traders sense a credit event is coming."

Analysts at Wells Fargo expect the yuan to soften to 6.60 per dollar in the next month, its weakest since November.

The U.S. currency had already been rising on expectations the Federal Reserve will signal a start to stimulus tapering at a two-day policy meeting that ends Wednesday.

The dollar index , which measures the currency against six major peers, was largely unchanged at 93.176 after rising overnight to 93.455 for the first time since Aug. 23.

The greenback was mostly flat at $1.17325 per euro after gaining to $1.1700 overnight, a first since Aug. 23.

The Swiss franc weakened slightly to 1.08835 per euro, but still near Monday's peak of 1.08750.

The yen eased back about 0.2% to 128.555 to the single currency , but remained close to its high of 128.155 from Monday, a level not seen since Aug. 20.

The Bank of Japan decides policy on Wednesday, with no change expected to its massive stimulus programme.

Market sentiment has been rattled by potential contagion from Evergrande , which is trying to raise funds to pay a host of lenders, suppliers and investors. A deadline for an $83.5 million interest payment on one of its bonds is due on Thursday, and the company has $305 billion in liabilities.

On Monday, Chinese regulators warned that the company's insolvency could fuel broader risks in the country's financial system if not stabilised.

Defying the risk-averse mood, the Australian dollar rallied 0.25% to $0.7270, rebounding with oil prices after dipping to $0.72205 in the previous session for the first time since Aug. 24.

Norway's krone surged about 0.6% to 8.6765 per dollar, recovering from Monday's slide to 8.7816, a level not seen since Aug. 27.

Canada's loonie popped some 0.4% to C$1.2765 against its U.S. peer as a projected election victory for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberals reassured investors that economic support would continue, although the party fell short of a majority win.

Sterling ticked 0.13% higher to $1.3675, after sliding to a nearly one-month low of $1.3640 overnight. The Bank of England announces a policy decision on Thursday.

New Zealand's kiwi lost 0.07% to $0.7026, but was off the day's low of $0.7000, the weakest level this month. A 50 basis point hike to the RBNZ's policy rate looks unlikely after the text of a speech from Assistant Governor Christian Hawkesby hinted that the central bank would move in 25 basis point increments.

"NZD/USD has returned to its multi-month range after a failed break higher, and appears likely to correct even lower during the week ahead," targeting $0.6890, Westpac strategist Imre Speizer wrote in a research note.

Cryptocurrencies continued to struggle amid the souring in risk sentiment, with bitcoin down 1.5% to around $42,379 on Tuesday after earlier touching $40,192.90 for the first time since Aug. 6.

Smaller rival ether slipped 0.3% to $2,968.06, after dipping to $2,803.20, also a first since Aug. 6. ========================================================

Currency bid prices at 0536 GMT

Description RIC Last U.S. Close Pct Change YTD Pct High Bid Low Bid

Previous Change


Euro/Dollar $1.1734 $1.1728 +0.06% -3.96% +1.1740 +1.1724

Dollar/Yen 109.5550 109.4000 +0.15% +6.08% +109.6300 +109.5000

Euro/Yen <EURJPY=EB 128.56 128.26 +0.23% +1.29% +128.6400 +128.2400


Dollar/Swiss 0.9275 0.9278 -0.02% +4.85% +0.9281 +0.9265

Sterling/Dollar 1.3675 1.3657 +0.13% +0.10% +1.3677 +1.3650

Dollar/Canadian 1.2763 1.2820 -0.43% +0.24% +1.2822 +1.2760

Aussie/Dollar 0.7271 0.7253 +0.26% -5.47% +0.7276 +0.7249

NZ 0.7025 0.7031 -0.07% -2.16% +0.7028 +0.7000


All spots Tokyo spots Europe spots Volatilities Tokyo Forex market info from BOJ

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(Reporting by Kevin Buckland; Editing by Sam Holmes)