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Renminbi pulls back from six-month high

China’s renminbi eased from a six-month high in early trade on Friday amid increased focus this week on the currency.

Traders said the country’s central bank apparently stepped in to support the currency this week as market demand remained soft, with the renminbi strengthening 0.6 per cent on Wednesday for its biggest one-day jump since mid-January.

Volume in US dollar-offshore renminbi futures on the Hong Kong Exchange topped 8,600 contracts for the second day in a row on Thursday. At 8,658 contracts, it was also the third-highest level on record, the Exchange said, behind the even stronger session on Wednesday.

The offshore renminbi, or CNH, is traded outside the mainland (mainly Hong Kong), around the clock and is not subject to a daily trading range. On Friday it was 0.3 per cent weaker at Rmb7.767 per dollar.

The onshore renminbi, or CNY, is allowed to trade 2 per cent either side of a daily fix. It pared early gains on Friday to sit 0.1 per cent weaker at Rmb6.8115 per dollar, easing from its highest level since mid-November. The People’s Bank of China fixed the midpoint for the currency’s trading range less than 0.1 per cent stronger to Rmb6.807.