Market volatility not reason for concern over China: IMF

Updated: 2015-09-04 11:00


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WASHINGTON - The International Monetary Fund does not see recent market volatility by itself as a reason to voice concern about China and the review to include the Chinese currency in the special drawing rights (SDR) basket, an IMF spokesman said Thursday.

"Some of the recent volatility that we've seen in markets has been the result of some ... market reaction to the move to adopt a more flexible exchange rate in China," said William Murray, deputy spokesperson of the IMF, at a regular press briefing. "But that in and of itself isn't a reason for us to be voicing concern about China and the SDR basket."

He iterated that the SDR review was still on track, and the IMF will complete the review by the end of this year in accordance with the IMF rules.

Chinese government's move to adopt a more flexible exchange rate is broadly welcome throughout the IMF, said Murray, adding that a more flexible exchange rate is what China needs to pursue and it's moving in that direction.

In regard to the IMF's stance on the timing for the interest rate hike by the US Federal Reserve, Murray said that the Federal Reserve can afford to hold interest rate low until there are more tangible signs of wage or price inflation than are currently evident. The IMF suggested in early June that US Fed should delay its first interest rate hike until the first half of 2016.

However, many Fed officials, including the Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen, have said on many occasions that it's appropriate to raise interest rate this year. The market widely sees September or even later as the most likely time for a Fed rate increase.

Recent Fed monetary policy meeting minutes showed that Fed officials seemed divided over the timing for the first hike in view of recent market volatility and weak global growth. The Fed has kept its benchmark short-term interest rate near zero since December 2008.