• BullionStar
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Chinese Currency Collapses To 18-Month Lows; Nears PBOC Limits

Tyler Durden's picture


After widening its tolerance for real world volatility mid-March, the PBOC has faced a daily battering of USD buyers and CNY sellers which have driven the Chinese currency to its weakest level in over 18 months. However, things are starting to become problematic... while call buying and hedging is exploding - as carry traders and local specs rush to cover exposures, Bloomberg notes that Morgan Stanley fears as the yuan approaches the lower end of PBOC’s permissible daily trading range, anticipated intervention to defend band could put other currencies under selling pressure. The last time - Summer 2012 - that the PBOC defended its currency, EUR came under selling pressure but as Morgan Stanley notes, “In the very unlikely case” of PBOC not defending band, FX volatility would surge globally with implications going beyond RMB as markets would assume China’s economic problems might be significant... whocouldanode?


The Yuan is now trading 1.8% below (above on the chart) its fixing and near the 2% band limit the PBOC expanded to in March...


Bloomberg reports that as yuan approaches lower end of PBOC’s permissible daily trading range, anticipated intervention to defend band could put currencies under selling pressure, helping USD, Morgan Stanley says in note.

CNY at 6.2659 now, trading 1.8% below today’s fixing at 6.1580; PBOC widened daily trading band to 2% on either side of fixing in March




When a similar situation occurred in June-July 2012, PBOC used $80b of reserves to defend band and, as this operation required China’s reserve managers to sell currencies to boost USD intervention fund, EUR came under selling pressure then, MS says in client note today




MS says it is more likely that China will seek controlled devaluation, pushing USD/CNY fixing higher, allowing CNY to drift lower within the band; this would be USD-positive


But “In the very unlikely case” of PBOC not defending band, FX volatility would surge globally with implications going beyond RMB; markets would assume China’s economic problems might be significant, putting commodity currencies at forefront of global selling interests

What could given them that idea!!??

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Wed, 04/30/2014 - 22:37 | 4714728 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

I confess to being completely befuddled why the Chinese currency is down.  I hope Yen Cross drops by and tells us what's going on over there!



Wed, 04/30/2014 - 23:00 | 4714772 game theory
game theory's picture

Why befuddled? China is manipulating it's currency because it cannot develop an internally stable economy so it tries to maintain an export driven economy. If China persists in this behavior, QE4 is bound to happen. 

Wed, 04/30/2014 - 23:05 | 4714796 Spitzer
Spitzer's picture

Thats garbage

If the Chinese narrowed the peg, that by default, makes raw necessities cheaper for the Chinese people, which gives them more discretionary income to spend on other things. (Like things only they produce)

Wed, 04/30/2014 - 23:23 | 4714846 thamnosma
thamnosma's picture

I think he makes a valid point.  China is still an export economy and they can seriously undercut others, leading to even more competitive currency devaluation or "race to the bottom".  Eventually the Chinese will build up their internal consumer base to offset any export losses, but to poo-poo currency devaluation wars is simply ignoring reality.

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 08:00 | 4715345 sessinpo
sessinpo's picture

thamnosma     I think he makes a valid point.  China is still an export economy and they can seriously undercut others


China exports final product, but imports raw materials. A lower Yen means higher costs for them to import those raw materials.

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 07:59 | 4715344 sessinpo
sessinpo's picture

 Spitzer           Thats garbage

If the Chinese narrowed the peg, that by default, makes raw necessities cheaper for the Chinese people, which gives them more discretionary income to spend on other things. (Like things only they produce)


China imports a huge amount of raw materials.Have you not seen the articles where china is buying mineral rights, metal rights and energy rights around the world, trying to offset this problem? A lower Yen means higher costs for those imports.

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 08:44 | 4715456 Miner
Miner's picture

Consider a Hypothetical situation.  You are China.  You have a massive investment exposure in US dollars (a double-digit percentatge of GDP) and you see that currency is eventually going to fail.  How do you dodge the sword of Damocles with your shirt intact?

One strategy is to keep the value of your currency low while quietly liquidating your USD positions.  This maximizes the number of Yuan you hold.  Then you do something absolutely crazy like announce you are going to commodity back your currency with physical assets.  Overnight your cheap piles of Yuan become radically more valuable.

... Wouldn't that keep USD bond yields suspiciously low despite fiddly economic conditions?  Yes, it has.

... Wouldn't that cause suspiciously large bumps in the number of bonds available on the open market?  Yes, if Belgium and the Fed weren't vaccuumming them up.

... Wouldn't that drive the price of the commodity through the roof?  Yes, it would.  When you started it would increase by many multiples.  In a way that is good, as it reduces the amount you need to back the currency.  Eventually you have to find a way to buy it quietly while while controlling the price through market manipulation.  Conveniently you have people in London and paper asset markets to assist with that.

The parts I haven't figured out are "What does that do to your export based economy?"  and "How do you manage the deflation within China when the value of the Yuan explodes?"  I'm open to thoughts.

Wed, 04/30/2014 - 22:41 | 4714738 Bill of Rights
Bill of Rights's picture

White House Directed Incorrect Benghazi Narrative



Newly-released documents reveal direct White House involvement in steering the public narrative about the September 11, 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya, toward that of a spontaneous protest that never happened. One of the operative documents, which the government had withheld from ?Congress and reporters for a year and a half, is an internal September 14, ?2012 email to White House press officials from Ben Rhodes, President Obama’s ?Assistant and Deputy National Security Advisor. (Disclosure:Ben Rhodes ?is the brother of David Rhodes, the President of CBS News, where I was employed until March.) ?
Wed, 04/30/2014 - 23:03 | 4714774 AdvancingTime
AdvancingTime's picture

This would make what happened in the second Presidential debate very important. During the debate Obama lied deliberately to us about what he said in the Rose Garden and Candy Crowley inappropriately backed him up. A gloating Obama then chimed in, “Can you say that a little louder, Candy!”

Obama later scolded Romney about how “offensive” it was for him to question the administration’s selfless intention. But even the hyper-partisan press could not sanction this lie for long. After the event, Ms. Crowley quickly backtracked, admitting that Romney was “right in the main.” This is like in an umpire deliberately getting in a runner’s way, calling him out during a decisive World Series moment, then admitting the call was blown at a post-game press conference. Yes this was a watershed moment in the election.


Wed, 04/30/2014 - 23:22 | 4714845 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

Those guys got killed because Bath House was stoned on crack and had Reggie's dick two feet up his ass during the firefight.

There was no Al Haig to step up and "take charge."

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 00:02 | 4714922 DeadFred
DeadFred's picture

Imagine all the advisors standing around trying to figure out what to do. Can't knock on his door, can't act without his approval, what to do? Ah yes, create a damage control storyline!

Wed, 04/30/2014 - 22:47 | 4714748 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Lol ....... This shit's funnier than hell. First everybody is racing to devalue their shitty fiat, now they are all scrambling to save it. Six months from now when everything is falling apart again it will be a race to devalue. We have a bunch of goobers steering the ships.

Wed, 04/30/2014 - 22:50 | 4714754 FieldingMellish
FieldingMellish's picture

"Iceberg to port... hard to starboard!"

"Shit! Iceberg to starboard... hard to port!"

"Shit!".......... "Fuck."


"Better get the First Class passengers to the lifeboats... let the rest drown."

Wed, 04/30/2014 - 23:02 | 4714784 Xibalba
Xibalba's picture

That sounds about right 

Wed, 04/30/2014 - 23:26 | 4714855 thamnosma
thamnosma's picture

Sounds about right, Doc.  How the hell they manage to keep gold where it is, much less silver, continues to amaze me.  

Wed, 04/30/2014 - 22:47 | 4714750 FieldingMellish
FieldingMellish's picture

Silver drifting ever lower and approaching its "floor" price around $18.90. Should that not hold... trapdoor to $17. Gold will be pulled along for the ride, however, I think the low is already in for the miners.

Wed, 04/30/2014 - 22:58 | 4714766 UrbanMiner
UrbanMiner's picture

If the silver drops to $17 the miners won't hold, they'll fall deeper.

Wed, 04/30/2014 - 23:03 | 4714791 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

yes that's correct

Wed, 04/30/2014 - 23:11 | 4714809 FieldingMellish
FieldingMellish's picture

I don't think so. Its not the same crowd holding the miners now than it was the last time. The silver miners have been outperforming silver since Dec as have the gold miners with gold.

Wed, 04/30/2014 - 23:43 | 4714888 UrbanMiner
UrbanMiner's picture

If gold drops below $1273 I sell my miners, and buy back in later (as gold/silver dictate). I'm chasing a fish, and I'll find the bottom yet...

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 00:04 | 4714926 BringOnTheAsteroid
BringOnTheAsteroid's picture

Anyone know of any ASX listed resources stocks primarily leveraged to the price of silver?

Wed, 04/30/2014 - 23:25 | 4714852 FieldingMellish
FieldingMellish's picture

Just to end the evening on a "happy" note, the dollar is also close to its trapdoor at 79.40 and underneath that there is some truly impressive airspace.

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 00:26 | 4714943 hobopants
hobopants's picture

That's the one I've been watching all week.

Wed, 04/30/2014 - 23:30 | 4714865 thamnosma
thamnosma's picture

All precious metals and hard assets will soon be given away for free.  Fiat currency will go through the roof as will Facebook.

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 02:32 | 4715083 Theosebes Goodfellow
Theosebes Goodfellow's picture

~"Silver drifting ever lower and approaching its "floor" price around $18.90. Should that not hold... trapdoor to $17."~

Let's face it, the day I can pick up five silver Eagles for a C note, I'm backing the truck up twice. Once to the PM dealer's window followed by the dock where my boat is. I'm just unlucky that way I guess.

Wed, 04/30/2014 - 22:51 | 4714759 AdvancingTime
AdvancingTime's picture

China is awash in overcapacity and debt. After several years of growing debt loads concern is rising the whole unstable pyramid is about to come crashing down.

This could bring China and possibly the global economy with it. The economic efficiency of credit has begun to collapse in China and the unwinding of China’s giant credit spree could be vary painful. More on China's credit trap below.


Wed, 04/30/2014 - 23:07 | 4714808 Spitzer
Spitzer's picture

So the US's creditors are going bankrupt. That does not bode well for the US.

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 07:25 | 4715293 game theory
game theory's picture

Why worry? Even if China screws the proverbial pooch, our biggest creditor is still waiting in the wings with another act.

Wed, 04/30/2014 - 23:01 | 4714776 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

      I'm switching to BTFD in usd/jpy this month. Even if things get nasty I just don't see the usd/jpy going below 95-97 area. When the carry trade starts to unwind there will be massive yen selling which should limit declines in usd/jpy whether or not the usd weakens.

     I know one morning I'm going to wake up and see that trade up 3-500 pips and JGBs blown out. I don't know when it's going to happen, but I'm sure as hell not going to be on the wrong side of that trade when it does. This all feels like the calm before the storm.

Wed, 04/30/2014 - 23:02 | 4714782 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

"china would likely seek controlled devaluation"

but but but gold backed yuan? 

this will never end.

Wed, 04/30/2014 - 23:10 | 4714813 Spitzer
Spitzer's picture

Read some FOFOA. There will be no gold backed Yuan.

Wed, 04/30/2014 - 23:17 | 4714836 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

Marc Faber was on today saying to buy Iraq. Jim Rogers who had been yelling to buy Russia is now silent. I think we need to find an Antarctica etf and get in early.

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 06:34 | 4715219 BandGap
BandGap's picture

People trying to outrun something in a confined space. The more options being removed via diclosure, the less options there will be. Compression until explosion.

Trying to control an economy via currency manipulation is like putting a rudder in front of a ship.

My silver mining stocks are holding up. Funny how that works.


Thu, 05/01/2014 - 08:05 | 4715352 sessinpo
sessinpo's picture

 fonzannoon     "china would likely seek controlled devaluation"

but but but gold backed yuan? 

this will never end.


The goal of China and Russia is not a locally back currenc by gold, but a international trade note backed by gold.

Wed, 04/30/2014 - 23:02 | 4714786 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

WTF. Everywhere you look. Is in serious trouble. 

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 00:27 | 4714958 BringOnTheAsteroid
BringOnTheAsteroid's picture

The human race has been in serious trouble since splitting the atom then covering the entire northern hemisphere in nuclear reactors. We have stacked the odds so vastly against us that we'll all be shaking our heads in utter disbelief in the coming years. Plaster the world with a few nuclear reactors and while everything is peaches and roses you might get away with it (howeven Fukushima dissproves even this thought). when chaos breaks out which is evident more as every day passes, who is going to maintain all these reactors. When war breaks out what is one of the first strategic targets sought by a countries enemy - their civilian nuclear power plants.

Very soon, I dread to say, we are going to wake up in a nightmare that will leave us wholeheartedly disorientated and unable to function. I've experienced this sensation once when I fell asleep at the wheel of a car and woke to the car rolling over multiple times. The absolute horror in those waking moments I will never forget. It was not the horror of dying, it was vastly more confusing and utterly disorientating feeling of having no idea whether I was asleep or awake, whether this was a dream or reality, whether the comfort in thinking that this was dream would succumb to the horror that it wasn't, or the horror that this was real would fade in the bliss that this was all in fact a dream. This horrible state only lasted a few seconds (although it felt like an eternity).   

We are all going to find ourselves in this state in the very near future but it is not going to last a few seconds, the reality will be far more long lived and inescapable.

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 01:30 | 4715036 thamnosma
thamnosma's picture

That's an extremely disturbing scenario and one, frankly, I hadn't really thought about. 

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 06:58 | 4715248 BringOnTheAsteroid
BringOnTheAsteroid's picture

I'm afraid it's inevitable.

7 billion humans forecast to increase to 9 billion by 2050.

Mounting economic disparity.

Ecosystems stretched to breaking point.

Unstable weather.

Global debt saturation.

Increasing antiobiotic resistant bacteria.

500 nuclear power plants that can never have an uniterrupted supply of power, EVER.

Mass concentration of human beings in cities.

Peak cheap oil.

Degrading top soil.

. . . . . what was that dear, Dancing with the Stars is on did you say.

Sorry gotta go.



Wed, 04/30/2014 - 23:13 | 4714823 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

I think a "scaled World War II" model is starting to unfold here.

Unlike WW II which relied on massive intervention by the State (wage and price controls, heavy unionization, mass industrialization, truly staggering debt monetization and public works projects that were so vast and extreme they were still experimental 20 years later) this "intervention(s)" is/are relying on the private sector to simply "build out" an entire war effort.

There is no way this can be done without a strong move higher by the dollar across the board.

So far the only three currencies not totally annihilated the past year are the Swiss franc, the British Pound and the Euro.

Putin has "taken the bait" however...and that leaves only the Swiss franc to go toe to toe with the greenback.

The size and effective power of the US military in the coming year or so could become quite staggering...especially if treasury yields really do plunge here.

I think Putin has made a grave blunder...but we shall see.

China as well is not being very neighborly of late either....nor has it for some time.

So far the only outright defeat of Administration policy internationally has been Syria...and of course this policy was never even attempted so one could argue "it was a clever error."

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 00:29 | 4714960 Fred123
Fred123's picture

Interesting view. My opinion of the US military is that it is much weaker than generally known. I hope that is not the case but considering this admin I don't see how the US military can be as effective as before. I can only hope that smarter folks are behind the scenes and are on top of this chaotic world situation. I consider 0bama a traitor and he is purposely trying to destroy the West. I think the intelligence agencies know exactly who he is and know all about his criminal background (forged SS number, cert, etc etc) and are blackmailing him to gain some leverage. Whatever is happening Americans will look back on this time with disgust and a sense of shame. I certainly do.

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 00:47 | 4714984 hobopants
hobopants's picture

Our miltary is over extended and morale is low but I wouldn't consider it weak. I think the next move is another false flag on US soil in an attempt to lead us into a conflict. Market manipulation is starting to fall subject to the law of diminishing returns and available gold reserves to feed china with are dwindling, they simply don't have anymore options.


Thu, 05/01/2014 - 01:29 | 4715032 thamnosma
thamnosma's picture

Do you really think the US military is capable of "boots on the ground" action?  I do not.  Obama has been reducing the number of troops, many of those left have done multiple war zone tours, new recruits must have wretched morale ... it's just not possible.   That leaves "war at a distance" -- cruise missiles, drones, air drops.  That only works in very select circumstances -- like Libya and Syria (of course, destroying those nation states).   It won't work in Iran if that's the target.

Any false flag attack will be directed toward controlling the American people, not those of another country.

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 02:23 | 4715075 Theosebes Goodfellow
Theosebes Goodfellow's picture

I think the word missing from this particular tack in the discussion is "prolonged". I do not believe that the USA has the capacity for a prolonged war, (much less two simultaneously), anywhere. I don't think we have the military leadership we did five years ago.

That said, I think the same applies to most of everyone else as well. I don't believe anyone can go deep into a "big war", though not everyone for the same reasons. It is no lie that nuclear weapons complicates things. There are more nuclear-capable governments who will not hesitate to use them if they feel they are on the losing side of a protracted military engagement.

What once was a belief in MAD, (mutual assured destruction), no longer really exists, in a real sense. The shadow and the specter of holocaust do not loom as large as it did a generation ago. The pretense worked as long as the nightmare was real. I fear this generation is too disconnected and, if you will, blase about the horrors of a nuclear battlefield. They certainly are about a chemical one, as Syria has recently proven.

All of this means that there is a heightened probability that we will see the use of nuclear weapons in the next twenty years. Using them against a civilian nuclear reactor gust gives the attacker more bang for the buck, if you'll pardon the expression.

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 02:34 | 4715084 hobopants
hobopants's picture

As much as people around here love to deride American military stength, we would win in any conventional warfare scenario against any single nation state including Russia. That's not an endorsement of the United States over other nations, it's just a fact. Go look up any "Most powerful military" article or blogpost out there and it will have the US in the top spot with Russia as a distant 2nd and China behind them.

You can have hypothetical pissing contests until the cows come home and it wouldn't change this. However this is largely a moot point as any serious conflict between great powers like the U.S.A and Russia would likely go nuclear and then it really doesn't matter who has the biggest baddest military does it?

So yes, we are capable of boots on the ground in massive numbers and with some of the world's best military hardware. Not that it matters much.

"Any false flag attack will be directed toward controlling the American people, not those of another country."

I don't recall anyone arguing otherwise? 


Thu, 05/01/2014 - 08:11 | 4715362 sessinpo
sessinpo's picture

hobopants        As much as people around here love to deride American military stength, we would win in any conventional warfare scenario against any single nation state including Russia.


Hubris is a fatal flaw. Thanks for the example.

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 09:57 | 4715734 post turtle saver
post turtle saver's picture

denying plain facts is a fatal flaw... thanks for the example

Fri, 05/02/2014 - 15:47 | 4721547 marathonman
marathonman's picture

America couldn't hold Vietnam.  Or prevent the North Koreans/Chinese red army from holding half of the Korean pennisula.  That was back in the good old days of American military dominance.  We can drop a lot of bombs, but taking out Russia without major losses is insanity.  Adolf looked like he just may pull it off but neither Napoleon nor Hitler ultimately could overthrow the Ruskies.  What the Hell are we thinking?!!

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 04:11 | 4715137 Jano
Jano's picture

when was US military effective? I belive last time, as they kicked out Rothschild's expedition force some centuries ago. and this was only possible because of the involvment of citizens.

WWI late on stage

wwII late on stage

Korea armistice

Vietnam, kicked out

Iraq a mess

Afghanistan before retreat

US Army needs a permanent war and they do not want to win any.

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 06:54 | 4715241 caShOnlY
caShOnlY's picture

I agree.  In many areas of military action is was supported by middle aged american men and women from reserve units.  The military needs fresh, young blood to groom and be able to sustain 4 -6 years overseas.  Not going to happen.  The resources available are not willing and are too mentally weak.  Do we believe the vast ghetto lands of america can produce the seedlings of a strong military?  how about the dope smoking/xbox choking urbanites?   You can have all the greatest military toys in the world but if nobody is at the controls you have nothing

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 07:17 | 4715281 BringOnTheAsteroid
BringOnTheAsteroid's picture

"I can only hope that smarter folks are behind the scenes and are on top of this chaotic world situation"

This is bizarre statement Fred. The central bankers are supposed to be smart peope. Who exactly are you talking about. Who is supposed to be smart. Greedy yes, power hungry yes, but smart ??????????????????????????????????????????????

Is Larry Summers supposed to be smart, Ben Bernanke, Harry Reid, Donald Rumsfield, the Bush clan, Obama, Barroso, Herman Van Rumpuy, I could keep typing for hours.

We're fucked mate and it's going to get alot worse than any of the diehards on this forum can even begin to contemplate. I would hazzard a guess that it will come in the form of a nuclear armeggedon or mass starvation when the phenomenally intricate distribution channels into the cities break down. We will be stuck with nowhere to go, no food to eat and probably with no rule of law for quite some time.

It is truly going to be, if nothing else, an incredibly interesting time to attempt to live through.

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