China’s yuan was set for its worst daily fall in nine months on Monday as trade negotiations between the U.S. and China ended after President Donald Trump raised tariffs on Chinese goods.
Currency moves in response to the latest trade hostilities have been muted, but on Monday the yuan fell 0.8% to 6.9040, its weakest since Dec. 27.
The yuan has fallen for six consecutive days and some analysts believe it will breach 7 per dollar in coming months, a level last seen during the global financial crisis.
China would probably use its vast currency reserves to stop any plunge through 7 to the dollar, which could trigger speculation and heavy capital outflows.
Investors bid up the yen, which is considered a safe haven in times of stress given Japans status as the worlds largest creditor and its huge hoard of assets abroad.
The yen was 0.25% higher at 109.700 yen, near last week’s three-month high of 109.470.
“Since demand for safe haven could exaggerate any gains in the yen, Japanese exporters could find themselves particularly disadvantaged in these circumstances. We expect the yen to be trading in the region of 108 on a 12-month view,” said currency analysts at Rabobank.
The world’s two biggest economies appear deadlocked. Washington demands changes to Chinese law; Beijing says it won’t swallow any “bitter fruit” that harms its interests.
President Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping are likely to meet during a G20 summit in Japan at the end of June and discuss trade.
The Australian dollar shed 0.3% to $0.6976. A drop below $0.6960 would take the currency, already burdened by a dovish shift by the Reserve Bank of Australia, to its lowest since early January.
The Aussie is sensitive to shifts in risk sentiment and also serves as a proxy for trades related to China, Australia’s largest trading partner.
The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies was flat at 97.318.