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China In-Focus — Yuan climbs; Home prices fall in China; Joincare Pharmaceutical plans Swiss listing

BEIJING: China’s yuan climbed to a near one-week high against the dollar on Thursday, after the Federal Reserve delivered its biggest rate hike in decades but flagged that such an outsized increase would not be common.

The dollar eased from a 20-year high against a basket of currencies after the US central bank approved its biggest interest rate hike since 1994, lifting the target federal funds rate by a widely expected 75 basis points to a range of between 1.5 percent and 1.75 percent.

Prior to market opening, the People’s Bank of China set the midpoint rate at 6.7099 per dollar, 419 pips or 0.6 percent firmer than the previous fix 6.7518.

In the spot market, onshore yuan opened at 6.6956 per dollar and was changing hands at 6.7006 at midday, 152 pips firmer than the previous late session close.

China home prices fall again

China’s new home prices in May fell for the second month this year, depressed by still fragile demand as widespread COVID-19 curbs dented already weak buyer confidence, suggesting more policy stimulus is needed to return the market to growth.

Average new-home prices in 70 major cities dropped 0.1 percent on a month-on-month basis, after a 0.2 percent decline in April, according to Reuters calculations based on National Bureau of Statistics data released on Thursday.

From a year earlier, prices slipped 0.1 percent, down for the first time since September 2015 and retreating from a 0.7 percent gain in April.

Year-on-year price growth has eased since May last year due to a slowing economy, tight mortgage disbursement and as sentiment weakened amid a liquidity crisis that led to some high-profile loan defaults by developers.

Shares of mainland developers fell on Thursday, with the CSI300 Real Estate Index down around 0.5 percent after opening up about 2 percent.

Joincare Pharmaceutical plans Swiss listing

China’s Joincare Pharmaceutical Group Industry Co. said on Thursday it plans to list on the Swiss stock exchange in a bid to broaden financing channels and ramp up its global expansion.

Joincare’s plan to issue Global Depository Receipts on the SIX Swiss Exchange, disclosed in an exchange filing, makes it the latest Chinese company to tap a cross-border investment channel linking China and European markets.

(With input from Reuters)

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