Yuan Falls After GDP Data; Pound Flat as May Prepares to Reveal “Plan B”

On Monday ,  The Chinese yuan fell in Asia after data showed China’s GDP slowed in the fourth quarter.

The British pound was near flat against the U.S. dollar as British Prime Minister Theresa May is set to unveil her Plan B for Brexit in parliament later in the day ahead of a Jan. 29 vote, after her initial plan was struck down by a 230-vote margin last week.

The GBP/USD pair last traded at 1.2868, down 0.03%.

The USD/CNY was up 0.2% to 6.7875 after data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed on Monday that China’s fourth-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth eased to 6.4% from 6.5% in the third quarter as expected.

Full-year growth came in at 6.6%, the slowest rate of expansion China has seen since 1990, although it was also in line with expectations.

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) set the yuan reference rate at 6.7774 vs Friday’s fix of 6.7665.

The U.S. dollar index that tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies was down 0.1% at 95.945.

U.S. markets will be closed for a long holiday weekend on Monday, while the ongoing government shutdown continues to delay some key U.S. economic reports.

Sino-U.S. trade frictions are expected to remain in focus this month. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He is set to visit the U.S. on Jan. 30 and 31 for a new round of trade talks.

On Friday, reports suggested that U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was considering lifting some tariffs imposed on Chinese imports.

The story was later denied by President Donald Trump, who then added that there has been progress toward a trade deal with China.

“Things are going very well with China and with trade,” he told reporters at the White House on Saturday.

Elsewhere, the USD/JPY pair slipped 0.2%. The Bank of Japan is due to announce its benchmark interest rate and publish a rate statement on Wednesday, though no major monetary policy changes are expected.

The AUD/USD pair was flat at 0.7165, while the NZD/USD pair slipped 0.3%. Australia is due to release its latest job report on Thursday this week./investing.com


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