By John Ikani
China’s yuan has hit fresh record lows against the surging US dollar, joining a host of currencies experiencing sharp declines against the greenback.
The internationally-traded yuan fell to fell to 7.2386 per dollar, its lowest level since data first became available in 2011.
China’s domestic currency also reached its weakest point since the 2008 global financial crisis as it fell to 7.2302 per dollar.
The decline comes despite China’s central bank on Monday announcing moves to stem the yuan’s decline by making it more expensive to bet against the currency.
It also comes as the dollar continues to rise in value against other major currencies, after the US central bank increased interest rates again earlier this month.
Investors have rushed to buy up the dollar, a traditional safe haven, as aggressive rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve stoke pessimism about the global economic outlook, lifting the currency to multi-decade highs against other key currencies.
The yuan’s fall has caused weakness in other currencies of developed economies in the region, including the Australian and Singapore dollar as well as the South Korean won.
Last week, the Bank of Japan intervened to support the yen for the first time since 1998, after the currency weakened against the dollar.
Asia’s emerging markets are vulnerable too – as they sell raw materials and components to China’s factories and so have increasingly become dependent on the yuan.