What is in this article?:
- China's Yuan Hits Fresh Record High
- Report to Congress Delayed
- Yuan hits high against the U.S. dollar for second straight day
- Improving Chinese economy may be bolstering yuan
- Rise in yuan precedes semi-annual U.S. government report on exchange rates.
China's currency hit a record high against the U.S. dollar for the second straight day on Friday, amid U.S. political pressure and growing confidence in the domestic economy, analysts said.
The currency touched an intra-day high of 6.2380 to the dollar at the open, marking the highest level since 1994 when the country launched its modern foreign-exchange market.
Attempt to Defuse Criticism?
Analysts said China may be allowing the yuan to appreciate to defuse criticism that the unit is grossly undervalued, ahead of the U.S. presidential election on Nov. 6 and an upcoming U.S. government report on exchange rates.
The yuan closed at 6.2489 to $1 on Friday, weakening from Thursday's close of 6.2417, despite earlier touching the record high, according to figures from the China Foreign Exchange Trade System.
"There are expectations that Beijing may use this as a gesture to the United States ahead of the presidential election and the upcoming exchange-rate report," Jiang Shu, an analyst at China's Industrial Bank, told AFP.
The U.S. Treasury Department issues a semi-annual report on exchange-rate policies that addresses China, among other countries.