17 Oct 2010

Currency report delayed

6:13 am on 17 October 2010

The US government has delayed issuing a report - which was expected on Friday - that could officially brand China a "currency manipulator".

The US Treasury issues two reports a year on the currency practices of its major trading partners.

The BBC reports it has so far held back from naming China. The report is not now expected until after the next G20 summit.

China said the United States should not use the weak yuan as a "scapegoat" for its economic problems.

At a regular briefing, the Commerce Ministry said China would continue to reform its currency policy, but at its own pace.

The last US treasury report, which was due in April, was delayed for almost three months. It did not accuse China of manipulating its currency.

The United States has not made a claim of currency manipulation since 1994, when China was named by the Clinton administration.

Yuan being held low

Many analysts believe China is keeping the yuan artificially low in order to help its exporters compete in global markets.

Earlier this year China promised greater "flexibility" in its currency approach, but since then the yuan has only risen slightly in value.

The ministry said China would continue with currency reforms, but the speed of reform would be based on China's domestic economic situation.