How Will a Fed Rate Hike Affect China?
Economists and investors are worried over what the Fed rate hike will do to the US economy, but what about China's? With its $3.56T in foreign-exchange reserves and its already shaky footing, some economists say China should easily weather higher US rates. The rate hike itself won't have a great impact on China, Mizuho Securities Asia chief Asia economist Shen Jianguang says. China's economy may be well-cushioned, as China's domestic stock market is already mainly closed to foreign investors, and interest rate cuts since November have helped Chinese companies rely less on dollar fundings. Bloomberg economist Fielding Chen in Hong Kong, agrees, saying high foreign reserves plus low external debt and low foreign-held public debt will buffer China's economy from external windfalls. For US policymakers, China itself may act as a big enough reason to hold off on a hike, since it threw off shares and the market last month. But the People's Bank of China says it's ready for any decision, having already factored a negative impact upon the yuan back in August. The Fed's decision will come at 2am Friday in Beijing. [Trib]