Investor Alert


Sept. 20, 2021, 2:22 p.m. EDT

Investor worries about Evergrande keep pressure on China’s yuan in offshore trade

By Vivien Lou Chen

China’s offshore currency continued to weaken against the dollar on Monday amid a world-wide stock selloff triggered by concerns about the broader impact of a potential collapse by major property developer Evergrande Group (HKG:HK:3333) .

The offshore yuan (XTUP:USDCNH) , which trades outside the country, weakened to as much as 6.4883 against the greenback. It’s lost around 0.9% since Wednesday, mostly because of a stronger dollar (IFUS:DXY) . Meanwhile, investors flocked to other traditional havens, such as Treasurys.

Read: Why Evergrande has suddenly exploded into a potential global financial market crisis

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DOW:DJIA) skidded more than 700 points on Monday, as investors weighed the potential fallout from looming debts coming due at Evergrande. Some commentators said it could even turn into a “Lehman Brothers moment” for China. Markets were closed in mainland China for a holiday, but the Hang Seng HK:HSI dropped more than 3%.

See: Evergrande fears send stock market tumbling: What investors need to know about China’s teetering property giant “China’s Evergrande is causing a lot of angst these days, but the moves in the offshore yuan are a little more contained than might be expected,” said Brad Bechtel, global head of foreign exchange at Jefferies in New York. The offshore yuan could weaken even further to 6.50 against the dollar — a level not seen since August — if angst around Evergrande grows, or could strengthen back to 6.40 or 6.35 if markets stabilize, he said.“A lot depends on how the Evergrande situation resolves itself,” he said via phone on Monday, adding that he doesn’t expect the People’s Bank of China to intervene in currency markets. “I don’t expect it to be a financial crisis on a global scale, but there are still pockets of equity weakness out there.”

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