Despite grumblings, U.S. refrains from labeling China a "currency manipulator"

US Treasury Again Clears China of Rigging Currency

US shies away from calling China a currency manipulator

"These pose major challenges to achieving fairer and more balanced trade, and we will continue to monitor and review China's currency practices, including through ongoing discussions with the People's Bank of China", said U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin, as per the statement.

Presidents have often used the semiannual currency report as a diplomatic tool while engaging with countries that are seen as having exchange rate policies that harm U.S. jobs and economic growth.

Trump has slapped tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese goods and China has retaliated with tariffs on about $110 billion of USA products.

"We will not engage in competitive devaluation, and will not use the exchange rate as a tool to deal with trade frictions", Yi said at a meeting of the International Monetary and Financial Committee.

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"The US Treasury kept the same 6 countries on the Monitoring List which includes China, Japan, (South) Korea, Germany, Switzerland and India (which was the latest addition to the list in the April 2018 report) and made no additions despite its previous warning (in April 2018) that it was considering "a future expansion in this Report to include more economies".

China's foreign ministry welcomed the report and said it reflected "common sense and the consensus of the worldwide community". China could pursue more market-based economic reforms that would bolster confidence in the renminbi, it added.

Washington has slapped punishing tariffs on about half of all China's goods exports to the United States, with talks to resolve the matter at an apparent impasse. Zuo noted some other developing country currencies have declined by 20 percent or more in the same time. China has retaliated, sparking a trade war between the world's two biggest economies.

U.S. oil futures dropped 0.3% to $69.55 per barrel early on Thursday, after plunging 3% on Wednesday after a report from the Energy Information Administration showed an increase in USA inventories of crude.

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In a report issued Wednesday, the administration says no country meets the criteria to be labeled a currency manipulator.

The Treasury said it was concerned that South Korea stepped up interventions in currency markets that appeared "to have been for the goal of slowing won appreciation against the dollar".

Allowing it to fall too far "would run the risk that Trump would brand China a currency manipulator", said Diana Choyleva of Enodo Economics in a report. The central bank also said it could sell short-term yuan-denominated securities in Hong Kong to tighten yuan liquidity, which would have the effect of supporting the value of the currency in offshore markets. Gao Qi, FX strategist at Scotiabank, indicated he expects the yuan to keep weakening, saying it would "likely continue trading with a 6.95 resistance" following the Treasury decision. Still, he left open the possibility that such moves would put downward pressure on the exchange rate.

Benchmark 10-year notes last fell 6/32 in price to yield 3.2013 percent, from 3.179 percent late on Wednesday.

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