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Currencies

Yuan climbs past 7 against dollar for first time in 3 months

Market sees signs of Beijing letting currency rise on progress in trade talks

The yuan has been gaining strength against the dollar since October.   © Reuters

NEW YORK -- The yuan jumped to its highest level in roughly three months against the dollar Tuesday as fresh signs emerged of progress in trade negotiations between Washington and Beijing.

The Chinese currency strengthened to around 6.98 to cross the 7 line, which it had slid past for the first time in about 11 years this August.

Tuesday's gains came amid reports that the U.S. may remove tariffs on some Chinese goods following a tentative "phase 1" trade deal last month.

Market speculation that Chinese authorities, in light of the agreement, have begun to reverse a policy of guiding the yuan lower added fuel to currency's rise.

The yuan weakened as far as 7.19 in September, prompting U.S. President Donald Trump to accuse China of currency manipulation. It has made a gradual recovery since October as both sides have moved toward a truce in their trade war.

Hopes of deescalation sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average to a record-high close on Monday, with the gains continuing in Tuesday's market.

In a cabinet-level telephone meeting Friday, American and Chinese trade officials reached a broad agreement in agriculture, financial services and other areas.

The U.S. and China are said to seek a deal-signing later this month in lieu of a meeting between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping that would have taken place at the now-canceled Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders' summit in Chile.

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