Bo Zhuang, chief China economist at TS Lombard, a research group, said that Beijing was probably allowing a tactical depreciation to send a signal to Washington but that a deep devaluation would be counterproductive for China. "Many market participants speculate... that China may have weaponised the renminbi, opting for a devaluation to offset the impact of US tariffs. We disagree, though policymakers are now considering devaluation as an option," said Mr Bo. The PBoC burnt through roughly $1tn in foreign exchange reserves in 2015-16 in order to fight market expectations of depreciation. Reviving those expectations now would carry big risks, Mr Bo cautioned. "Any benefit from a major renminbi devaluation would be far outweighed by the negative consequences: accelerated capital flight, domestic liquidity tightening and the possibility of increased credit stress,” he said.
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