Chinese Yuan Jumps to 19-Year High

Central bank sets record reference rate amid growing use of the currency.

The yuan climbed to a 19-year high as the central bank set a record reference rate amid growing usage of the currency for worldwide trade and investment.

Global yuan payments increased 32.7 percent in March from the previous month and the currency ranked 13th in terms of international payments, Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication said today. Hong Kong Monetary Authority said today that value of trade settled in China’s currency by the city’s banks rose 45 percent from a year earlier in the first quarter to 830 billion yuan ($135 billion), while Australia’s central bank announced plans yesterday to put about 5 percent of its foreign-exchange reserves in China.

Offshore Deposits

Hong Kong’s total yuan deposits and certificates of deposits denominated in the currency increased by about 30 billion yuan during March, HKMA Chief Executive Norman Chan said today at press briefing in the city. Australia’s planned shift in its reserves would lead to investment of as much as A$2.4 billion ($2.5 billion) in yuan and domestic government bonds, Commonwealth Bank of Australia estimated.

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