Forex – Yuan Little Changed After Positive January Trade Data

© Reuters. – The Chinese yuan was little changed on Thursday in Asia even after custom data showed a better-than-expected trade numbers in January, as analysts warned the presence of business distortions due to national holidays and cyclical trends.

The pair last traded at 6.7615 by 12:01 AM ET (05:01 GMT), up 0.04%.

January unexpectedly grew 9.1% from a year earlier, beating the expectation of a 3.2% drop, data from China’s General Administration of Customs showed on Thursday.

also only fell 1.5%, much less than the expected 10% fall and narrowing from December’s 7.6% drop.

That left the country with a of $39.16 billion for the month, better than forecasts of $33.5 billion.

The data seemed to have little impact on Chinese stocks and the yuan today. Some analysts cautioned that data published in the first months of the year must be treated with caution, as they generally looked better due to seasonal factors and business distortions caused by the long Lunar New Year holidays.

Looking ahead, investors will likely focus on the outcome of the latest round of trade negotiations with the U.S., which is scheduled to conclude on Friday in Beijing.

Meanwhile, the that tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies slipped 0.1% to 96.893.

The Labor Department said on Thursday its was flat for January, after edging up 0.1% in the prior month. But core CPI, which excludes food and energy, rose 2.2% for the year through January, above forecasts for a 2.1% increase.

Elsewhere, the was up 0.5% against the U.S. dollar, having gained about 0.5% in the previous session on optimism about the China-U.S. trade talks.

The pair extended its rally and gained 0.6% after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand adopted a less dovish line on policy on Wednesday.

The pair was up 0.1%.

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