Global Hotspots: After devaluation, China says yuan has stabilized

Global Hotspots: After devaluation, China says yuan has stabilized

El Nino likely to continue into spring of 2016; Rain threatens 8% of Argentina's wheat

1. After market-shaking devaluation, China says yuan has stabilized

China's central bank late this week said the yuan has stabilized and there was no need for further devaluation, comments that helped firm the currency on Friday against the dollar.

The central bank lowered the yuan's valuation almost 3% this week, moves that rattled global markets, sending equities and commodities lower. A lower yuan versus other currencies can boost China's exports, but lessens the yuan's buying power in international markets.

As of Friday morning, the yuan was about 6.4 to the dollar. A week ago, the rate was about 6.21.

2. El Nino likely to continue into spring of 2016

El Nino likely to continue into spring of 2016; Rain threatens 8% of Argentina's wheat

The current El Nino event is now expected to continue into the Northern Hemisphere spring of 2016, the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center said this week.

It said there is a 90% chance El Nino will continue through the winter and 85% chance it will last until the 2016 spring.

"Across the contiguous United States, temperature and precipitation impacts associated with El Niño are expected to remain minimal during the remainder of the Northern Hemisphere summer and increase into the late fall and winter," it said. "El Niño will likely contribute to a below normal Atlantic hurricane season, and to above-normal hurricane seasons in both the central and eastern Pacific hurricane basins."

El Nino is the warming of the sea surface in the tropical Pacific, which can influence weather around the world. It can cause drought or rainy periods and affect the frequency of hurricanes.

3. Rain threatens 8% of Argentina's wheat - Reuters

About 740,000 acres of recently planted wheat in Argentina's Pampas farm belt have been inundated with abundant rain, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said this week.

In a Reuters story, the exchange said the affected area was about 8% of Argentina's planted acres. Argentina is a major wheat producer a major supplier of wheat, particularly to neighboring Brazil.

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"There is a high risk that fields that have been flooded will not recuperate rapidly. Losses in areas planted with wheat could be significant," the exchange said in its weekly crop report, which referred to key wheat areas in southern Santa Fe and northeast Buenos Aires provinces. "The situation in the region is critical."

 The story said Argentine farmers sowed 9.14 million acres with wheat this season, well under the nearly 10.9 million the previous year, the exchange said.

The unstable weather may continue the next few weeks, the exchange said. The Southern Hemisphere spring, which starts in late September, is usually the wettest time of the year in Argentina.

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