SHANGHAI -- "There is no room for negotiation today," a black-market currency dealer said when approached on West Nanjing Road, a bustling commercial strip in Shanghai, last week. "It's going to be 7.2 yuan to the dollar."
The official rate was 7.06 that day, but the man, who was a little past his prime, was defiant. At one point late last month, the yuan had sunk to 7.19 in overseas trading. He was confident in the direction of the weakening currency.