Yuan firms up against dollar
The central parity rate of the Chinese currency renminbi, or the yuan, strengthened 299 basis points to 6.9371 against the US dollar on Friday, according to the China Foreign Exchange Trade System. In China’s spot foreign exchange market, the yuan is allowed to rise or fall by 2 percent from the central parity rate each trading day. The central parity rate of the yuan against the US dollar is based on a weighted average of prices offered by market makers before the opening of the interbank market each business day. World gold demand reached 964.3 metric tons during the third quarter of this year, an increase of 6.2 tons compared with the same period last year, maintaining a stable trend, according to a report released by the World Gold Council. During the third quarter, gold-backed exchange-traded funds saw a 116 ton decline when compared with inflows of 13.2 tons in the same period a year ago, marking the first quarter of outflows since the last quarter of 2016, according to the quarterly report. US labor productivity experienced a slower increase in the third quarter, the US Labor Department reported. Nonfarm business sector labor productivity, which measures the output per hour of workers on nonfarm payrolls, increased at a 2.2 percent seasonally adjusted annual rate during the third quarter of 2018, lower than the revised 3 percent increase in the second quarter, according to the department. US automaker General Motors reported a sharp jump in profit for the third quarter of this year to $2.5 billion, compared with 2017, boosted by strong truck and sport utility vehicle sales in North America and China. The profit was in sharp contrast to a year ago, when GM posted a huge loss due to the sale of its failing Opel-Vauxhall business in Europe. GM North America posted strong margins of 10.2 percent in the third quarter, driven by an increase in average transaction prices.
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