China's Explosive GDP Growth May Force Government to Raise Yuan and Interest Rates
China's economy raced ahead in the first quarter at the fastest pace in almost three years, underscoring concerns about overheating and prompting speculation that the government will be forced to raise interest rates in addition to scrapping the yuan's peg to the dollar. China's gross domestic product (GDP) rang up unexpectedly strong annual growth of [...]
Washington – Not China – Is the Real Manipulator Here
SHANGHAI, People's Republic of China - China just posted its first monthly trade deficit in nearly six years, a $7.24 billion shortfall for March that essentially torpedoes Washington's argument that the Asian giant is a "currency manipulator" of the worst kind.
The Obama administration's assertion that China is artificially keeping the yuan undervalued to gain a global competitive advantage isn't just misguided: It actually demonstrates that Washington lacks even a basic understanding of global economics. Given that the same U.S. leaders who have been pushing to hang this manipulator label on China and impose sanctions are the same ones who tried to end the financial crisis by creating a river of debt that will haunt us for years, I can't say that I'm surprised.
As the U.S. argument goes, pegging its currency to the dollar gives China a distinct advantage when it comes to less-expensive manufacturing and a strong export market. The implication is that somehow this is negatively impacting our economy, or - in a variation of the same logic - holding back our recovery. Washington points to the massive trade deficits we regularly run with that country as evidence of China's currency-market wrongdoing.
In reality, China's pegged currency has done two things. First, it's allowed the United States to keep its inflation rate at a much lower (and more-manageable) level than it should have been in view of the $14 trillion in debt that this country has taken on.
And, second, it's allowed China to fuel its own stimulus package while at the same time assuming a meaningful role in the ongoing global recovery.
Let's take a minute to talk about why this is true.
U.S. China Currency Dispute Heating Up
The heated debate between China and the United States over the value of its currency intensified yesterday (Thursday) when a senior Chinese trade official warned that further appreciation of the yuan could put many of its exporters out of business - something China can't afford.
Those remarks came shortly after a key International Monetary Fund (IMF) official flatly stated that the currency is severely undervalued.
China's Vice Commerce Minister Zhong Shan told The Wall Street Journal in an exclusive interview that the profit margins on many Chinese export goods were less than 2% and any further increase in the currency's value would endanger more exporters' survival.
China's Exports Surged by 46% in February, Adding to Currency Pressures
China exports in February rose for the third month in a row, beating forecasts and putting added pressure on government officials to rein in stimulus spending and loosen currency policies. Exports in February jumped 45.6% from a year earlier after a 21% advance in January, the customs bureau reported today (Wednesday) on its Web site. [...]
Plummeting British Pound Leads to Worries of Another Currency Market "Black Wednesday"
Outside of the earthquake rescue efforts in Chile and the Greek-rescue efforts in Brussels, the big news in the world economy last week occurred in currencies.
As you can see in the chart below, the plummeting British pound sterling has dropped even more than the beleaguered euro in the past month and a half, while the good old U.S. dollar has been as good as gold. (That last bit was a bit of currency irony; the dollar has actually been much better than gold, which has flat-lined in the past six weeks.)
U.S. and China Seek Middle Ground on Currency Dispute Ahead of Obama Visit
The currency dispute between the United States and China has often reached a fevered pitch over the past decade, but both nations have softened their stance ahead of U.S. President Barack Obama's visit next week.
However, analysts remain uncertain as to whether or not China and the United States are serious about making policy adjustments, or are simply trying to ensure that Obama's first trip to the nation as president goes smoothly.
In a rare tweaking of policy language, the People's Bank of China (BOC) signaled on Wednesday that it might take other major currencies - not just dollar - into account when guiding its exchange rate.
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Will the Yen Lose its “Safe Haven” Status as Japan’s Economy Deteriorates?
By Keith Fitz-GeraldInvestment DirectorMoney Morning/The Money Map Report Historically speaking, the Japanese yen has proved to be a safe haven against global turmoil. Right now, however, Japan's economy is among the worst hit of all the global powers. It is ill prepared to weather the global storm and it's falling like a rock. That's why, [...]
Why the Gulf's Currency Integration Will Benefit International Investors
By Keith Fitz-Gerald Investment Director Money Morning/The Money Map Report On Jan. 1, six Gulf states joined together – Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Kuwait – to form a single common market, not unlike the European Union (EU), which has served as its model. The common market, valued at [...]