Yuan climbs to 16-month high on upbeat output, retail sales data

    SHANGHAI, Sept 15 (Reuters) - China's yuan climbed to a
16-month high on Tuesday, as industrial output and retail sales
data suggested a broader recovery from the coronavirus crisis
was underway.
    "China's economic recovery from the coronavirus outbreak is
quicker than other major economies, helping drive the yuan
higher", said Wang Jianhui, chief economist at Capital
Securities after August output data showed the fastest rise in
eight months, and retail sales grew for the first time this
    Prior to market open, the People's Bank of China set the
midpoint rate at 6.8222 per dollar, the strongest
since May 13, 2019.  
    Spot yuan opened at 6.7945 per dollar and firmed
to 6.7855, its strongest in 16 months high, before slipping back
to 6.7870 at midday, still 216 pips stronger than the previous
late session close. 
    Traders said the yuan break below the 6.8 per dollar level
would prompt more dollar selling.  
    The dollar dipped against riskier currencies on Tuesday as
hopes for a COVID-19 vaccine and big corporate deals improved
investor appetite for riskier currencies. 
    "Market sentiment is relatively good, and the onshore yuan
could further strengthen to around 6.7 per dollar," said a
trader at a Chinese bank.  
    Capital Securities' Wang doubted whether the yuan could
sustain a straight-line ascent given the ongoing trade frictions
with the United States.  He expected the onshore yuan to trade
in range of 6.6 to 7.1 per dollar for the mid-term.  
    Investors were also eyeing the outcome of policy meetings by
several major central banks later this week. The U.S. Federal
Reserve will start a two-day policy meeting on Tuesday, the
first since its shift in August to a more inflation tolerant
    The Bank of Japan and the Bank of England announce their
respective policy decisions on Thursday.
    The Thomson Reuters/HKEX Global CNH index, which
tracks the offshore yuan against a basket of currencies on a
daily basis, stood at 93.85, firmer than the previous day's
    The global dollar index fell to 92.916 from the
previous close of 93.052. 
    The offshore yuan was trading at 6.7855 per dollar
by midday. 
    One-year NDFs are settled against the midpoint, not the spot

    The yuan market at 4:03AM GMT: 
 Item               Current  Previous  Change
 PBOC midpoint      6.8222   6.8361    0.20%
 Spot yuan          6.787    6.8086    0.32%
 Divergence from    -0.52%             
 Spot change YTD                       2.60%
 Spot change since 2005                21.95%
    Key indexes:
 Item            Current     Previous  Change
 Thomson         93.85       93.38     0.5
 CNH index                             
 Dollar index    92.916      93.052    -0.1
*Divergence of the dollar/yuan exchange rate. Negative number
indicates that spot yuan is trading stronger than the midpoint.
The People's Bank of China (PBOC) allows the exchange rate to
rise or fall 2% from official midpoint rate it sets each

 Instrument            Current   Difference
                                 from onshore
 Offshore spot yuan    6.7855    0.02%
 Offshore              6.944     -1.75%
*Premium for offshore spot over onshore
**Figure reflects difference from PBOC's official midpoint,
since non-deliverable forwards are settled against the midpoint.

 (Reporting by Luoyan Liu, Jindong Zhang and Andrew Galbraith;
Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)