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China doubles yuan trading band, speeds up exchange-rate reforms

Published on Mar 16, 2014 12:51 AM

BEIJING (AFP) - China's central bank on Saturday doubled the yuan's trading band to two per cent, loosening its grip on the tightly-controlled currency and underscoring efforts to accelerate exchange-rate reforms as concerns mount over the slowing economy.

The move will take effect on March 17, the People's Bank of China (PBOC) said in a statement, and follows years of international pressure on Beijing to allow faster yuan appreciation.

The change, which follows Beijing's landmark move in April 2012 to double the trading band to 1.0 per cent, is seen by some analysts as a key step towards establishing a market-based exchange-rate system.

China's ruling Communist Party has so far maintained a firm grip on the yuan, also known as the renminbi (RMB), as one of its key tools to control the economy, and due to worries about unpredictable financial inflows or outflows.

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