Monday, May 02, 2005

All eyes appear fixed on the renminbi this week -- has the moment of revaluation finally arrived? Market big-wigs surveyed by Bloomberg certainly think so.
The yen may advance for a fourth week against the dollar and the euro on speculation China is moving closer to letting its currency strengthen, a Bloomberg News survey shows.

Sixty percent of the 45 strategists, investors and traders polled on April 29 from Sydney to New York advised buying the yen against the dollar. . . .

Frank Gong, chief China economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in Hong Kong, said the government may alter its currency policy as soon as this week.
Currency traders think so, too. The yen rose 1.3% last week on the belief, the won by 0.7%, and the Taiwan dollar by 0.5%. According to Bloomberg, speculators are betting on a pretty significant 6% revaluation vis-a-vis the USD, which will surely spur major rises in other Asian currencies as well.

Questions remain, of course. The Chinese have been so adamant on refusing to buckle under any external pressure that the expectations of the market may easily be dashed this month. Giving signals � as some are interpreting last week�s 20-minute renminbi float � seems like the last thing China wants to do, encouraging every speculator and hot-money mover from Hong Kong to Hot Springs to bet against Beijing. If everyone is expecting a revaluation, isn�t such an environment the last one in which China will finally bow to the inevitable?

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