Argentina''s central bank moves more reserves into gold

Section:

Premier says China to make yuan more flexible

Reuters
Tuesday, September 28, 2004

http://yahoo.reuters.com/financeQuoteCompanyNewsArticle.jhtml?
duid=mtfh92754_2004-09-28_11-51-09_pek174607_newsml

BEIJING -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao pledged on
Tuesday to push ahead with reform of the yuan
currency and make the exchange rate mechanism
more attuned to market supply and demand.

He made the comments before a historic meeting
between China and the Group of Seven (G7) leading
industrial nations later this week at which the
thorny currency reform is expected to be a top
issue.

"We will further advance the reform and forge a
mechanism which is more adapted to the changes
in market supply and demand, with still better
flexibility," the official Xinhua news agency
quoted Wen as saying.

Improving the yuan exchange rate mechanism and
maintaining "basic stability" of the rate at a
"reasonable and balanced level" are the goals of
the reforms, Wen was quoted as telling Charles
Prince, CEO of Citigroup Inc., and Robert Rubin,
former U.S. secretary of the treasury, in Beijing.

U.S. politicians have argued the currency, pegged at
8.28 per dollar, is undervalued and gives China an
unfair trading advantage.

Wen's remarks, however, were not a major departure
from China's mantra on currency reform.

China has repeatedly said it will loosen currency
controls only gradually, and that it must first make
progress in cleaning up its banking sector, turn
around ailing state-run companies, and create tens
of millions of new jobs.

Wen said that in the process of reforming the
mechanism for setting the exchange rate, various
factors should be considered.

Among them, he listed China's macroeconomic
performance; social development, international
income and expenditure; progress in banking
reform; and the economic and financial health of
China's neighbours and of the world.

Speculation abounds that China could shift to a
system under which the yuan is tied to a basket
of currencies.

A Finance Ministry official who declined to be
identified said China was unlikely to announce any
policy changes at the G7 meeting, which starts on
Friday.

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