China 2017: More Boom Before the Bust

Lior Alkalay - Contributor - Forex

Despite the Yuan’s value recently plummeting to an eight-year low, the Chinese economy has been rather stable in the second half of 2016, manufacturing PMI held above 50 (above 50 signals expansion); exports reached $196.8 Bln in November(from $176.2 Bln in January); and in industrial production growth averaged 6.14% Year over Year.

Together, these changes all represent a strong indicator of growth - and of bounce-back - and all thanks to the Yuan. Or more accurately, to the Yuan meltdown. Even as the Chinese Yuan shed more than 7.1% this year, it allowed China’s exports to rebound and stabilize industrial and manufacturing production. But all that stability comes at a stiff price, down the line.

While a weaker Yuan helps exporting sectors, it causes problems in China’s domestic economy. In it, an exceptionally weak currency has the same impact as monetary easing, creating an inverse relationship where, when the Yuan’s value is eroded, China’s housing bubble swells.

The more China’s housing bubble swells, the more its debt problem becomes acute. And, ultimately, the more painful its bust will be. Continue reading "China 2017: More Boom Before the Bust"

Has China Lost Control?

Lior Alkalay - Contributor - Forex

This morning's newswires are filled with stories of yet another dramatic intervention by China in the Yuan exchange rate. This time, though, it's in favor of the Yuan. That news, more than any, has investors alarmed as it seems to suggest that China has lost control. To that, I say how can you lose something you never had?

China Never Had Full Control

China and its financial authorities, namely the Peoples Bank of China, are viewed as the effective forces controlling the Chinese money market. That means not just the currency but also the financial markets and inflation. Hence, the state of alarm currently dominating markets makes sense. But the fact is that China never really had the control that investors believed it had. Because simultaneously controlling monetary policy and the currency is like "trying to hold the stick at both ends;" it's just not possible. Continue reading "Has China Lost Control?"

China Devalues The Yuan: Now What?

Lior Alkalay - Contributor - Forex

It was less than a week ago that we pinned down the growing possibility that China would move to devalue the Yuan. Then – Bang! Since this morning, it's a done deal. Or is it? While China's move to devalue the Yuan (by roughly 1.9%) in a single day is the most aggressive Yuan devaluation since the "roaring" nineties, chances are this is only the beginning.

China Must Regain its Competitiveness

The core of the matter here is that China is trying to maintain the facade that this was a one-shot deal. However, it really has more to do with the government's attempt to free the Yuan rate. Beijing, it seems, may have finally bowed to the realities of market economics. Even as it enacts reforms to liberalize its financial markets and change its economic model, China must regain its competitiveness when it comes to exports. Continue reading "China Devalues The Yuan: Now What?"