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Dollar Down, but all Eyes on Yuan Ahead of China Evergrande “Credit Event”

ForexSep 20, 2021 11:12PM ET
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By Gina Lee – The dollar was down on Tuesday morning in Asia and the offshore yuan remained near an almost one-month low. All eyes are now on whether China Evergrande Group (HK:3333) will default on its upcoming due payments.

The U.S. Dollar Index that tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies inched down 0.09% to 93.172 by 11:04 PM ET (3:04 AM GMT). The index rose overnight to 93.455 for the first time since Aug. 23.

The USD/JPY pair edged up 0.20% to 109.60.

The AUD/USD pair edged up 0.19% to 0.7264, with the Reserve Bank of Australia releasing the minutes from its latest policy meeting earlier in the day.

The NZD/USD pair inched down 0.09% to 0.7017 after Reserve Bank of New Zealand assistant governor Christian Hawkesby hinted that the central bank would move in 25 basis point increments, pouring cold water on the widely expected 50 basis point hike.

Meanwhile, New Zealand’s Westpac consumer Sentiment index was at 102.7 for the third quarter of 2021.

The USD/CNY pair was steady at 6.4662. The yuan weakened as far as 6.4879 on Monday for the first time since Aug. 23, and the Chinese market is closed on Tuesday.

The GBP/USD pair inched up 0.07% to 1.3666.

China Evergrande has an $83.5 million interest payment, due on Thursday, on one of its bonds and $305 billion in liabilities.

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

"Traders sense a credit event is coming” and moves in Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index could dictate the direction for the Australian dollar and other commodity-linked currencies in the short term, the note added.

The dollar could reach 6.60 per yuan in the next month for the first time since November 2020, according to Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) analysts.

Investors also await the U.S. Federal Reserve’s latest policy decision, to be handed down on Wednesday. Expectations that the Fed will begin asset tapering earlier than expected have already given the dollar a boost.

The Bank of Japan also hands down its policy decision on Wednesday, with the Bank of England following a day later.

In Canada, incumbent Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to win his third term in office, according to CTV News and CBC News.

Dollar Down, but all Eyes on Yuan Ahead of China Evergrande “Credit Event”

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