Chinese yuan weakens to nearly 5-year low

Beijing, Jan 7 (IANS) The central parity rate of the Chinese currency, the renminbi or yuan, depreciated to its weakest point in nearly five years, new data showed on Thursday.

The yuan’s central parity rate lost 332 basis points to 6.5646 against the US dollar on Thursday, the lowest level since March 18, 2011, data from the China Foreign Exchange Trading System (CFETS) showed, reports Xinhua.

As of the end of 2015, the CFETS exchange rate composite index, which measures the yuan’s strength relative to a basket of 13 foreign currencies, stood at 100.94, up 0.94 percent from the end of previous year.

In China’s spot foreign exchange market, the yuan is allowed to rise or fall by 2 percent from the central parity rate each trading day.

The central parity rate of the yuan against the US dollar is based on a weighted average of prices offered by market makers before the opening of the interbank market each business day.

Chinese stocks dive over seven percent, trading halted 

Trading was on Thursday halted for the day on the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock markets after shares tumbled over seven percent as the circuit breaker mechanism was triggered.

Earlier, the smaller Shenzhen index opened 1.88 percent lower at 11,504.9 points, Xinhua news agency reported.

The ChiNext Index, tracking China’s NASDAQ-style board of growth enterprises, lost 2.15 percent to open at 2,415.33 points.

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