Chinese yuan, PBOC, oil and currencies

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SINGAPORE – Asia-Pacific stocks were mixed in Monday morning trading as investors watched the Chinese yuan move.In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index slipped 0.28% at the start of the session while the Topix index lost 0.17%. South Korea’s Kospi, on the other hand, rose 0.41% as stocks resumed trading after a holiday Friday.

Meanwhile, stocks in Australia were little changed, with the S & P / ASX 200 above the flat line.

The largest MSCI index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside of Japan traded about 0.1% higher.

Chinese yuan watch

Movements in the Chinese yuan are expected to be watched by investors on Monday, after the People’s Bank of China announced a rule change that made short-selling the yuan cheaper.The central bank announced on Saturday that financial institutions no longer need to set aside liquidity during certain foreign exchange forward transactions, effective Monday. Previously, financial institutions were required to set aside 20% of the previous month’s yuan forward settlement amount as reserves for currency risk, according to Reuters.

The offshore yuan last traded more than 0.6% weaker against the greenback, at 6.7332 per dollar, after strengthening in recent months.

Tapas Strickland, of the National Australia Bank, said the yuan’s movements were likely motivated by the rule change “which makes it cheaper to short the (Chinese yuan) and signals less (concern) about the weakness of the currency.

Falling oil prices

Oil prices were lower on the morning of trading hours in Asia, as international benchmark Brent futures fell 1.42% to $ 42.24 a barrel. US crude futures also fell 1.5% to $ 39.99 per barrel.

The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 93.125 after recently falling to levels above 93.3.

The Japanese yen traded at 105.60 to the dollar after advancing from levels above 105.9 against the greenback last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $ 0.722 after rising about $ 0.71 last week.

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