For the first time in 17 years, China's yuan strengthened beyond 6.4 to the U.S. dollar. "The inflation and trade data, together with the [Federal Reserve's] policy to maintain extremely low interest rates, have fueled faster appreciation," said Banny Lam, an economist at CCB International Securities. "Strong economic growth, supported by the latest export figures, also provides investors with confidence to buy the yuan in these turbulent times."

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