China opened its currency market to direct trading of the yuan against the Australian and Canadian dollars on Monday, bringing the total of foreign currencies that can be directly traded with it to nine.
The central parity rate for the yuan against Australian dollar was set at 6.2491 on Monday while the Canadian dollar/yuan central parity rate was 6.1048, according to the China Foreign Exchange Trading System.
On the spot market, the yuan can rise or fall 3 percent against the two foreign currencies from their daily central parity rates.
The two foreign currencies join seven others -- the U.S. dollar, HK dollar, Japanese yen, euro, British pound, Malaysian ringgit and Russian ruble -- that are allowed to be traded on China's interbank foreign exchange market.
Analysts said the new currency pairs will help facilitate bilateral trade and investment as well as push the internationalization of yuan.
Both Australia and Canada are among China's major trade partners, especially with regard to resources, and their economies are in better shape than those of other developed nations, said Zheng Lei, a senior executive with the international investment business of China Merchants Bank.
Adding the two currency pairs is a significant part of yuan's internationalization process, and it can help simplify bilateral trade and investment by avoiding "detouring" through a third-party currency, said Bai Ming, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation under the Ministry of Commerce.