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As tensions with US boil, China hints at weaker yuan

Beijing's central bank sets reference rate against dollar at lowest level since 2008

Relations between the U.S. and China have deteriorated over the coronavirus pandemic and Hong Kong. (Nikkei montage/photos by Reuters)

SHANGHAI -- China's central bank has lowered a key measure used to manage the yuan's rate against the dollar to its weakest level since February 2008, as bilateral relations with the U.S. deteriorate over a wide range of issues including the newly proposed security arrangements in Hong Kong and the coronavirus.

The People's Bank of China set its reference rate for the yuan to 7.1209 per dollar on Monday. Market watchers think Beijing is letting the currency weaken as a warning shot for the U.S., after Washington threatened to sanction China over its new national security bill covering Hong Kong.

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