16 Apr 2012

China loosens controls on the yuan

1:01 pm on 16 April 2012

China has loosened its currency controls in a move that may spur gains in the value of the yuan.

The People's Bank of China says that from Monday the yuan can fluctuate up to 1% in trading against the US dollar from a fixed price set by the central bank. The previous limit was 0.5%.

The increase in the trading band was announced in English, a rare statement that suggests it was targeted at foreign audiences, the BBC reports

China has been under pressure to let the yuan appreciate, as nations like the US believe that China keeps its currency artificially low to boost its exports, giving it an unfair trading edge.

The US Treasury Department and the International Monetary Fund have welcomed the move.