The US on Monday formally accused China of manipulating its currency, marking the second major escalation in the two countries' spiraling trade war in just 24 hours. Washington's sudden move came the day when China allowed the Yuan to fall below 7 to the dollar for the first time in about a decade -- provoking US President Donald Trump's ire and sending global equities markets diving into the red. China’s yuan fell as much as 1.9% to a record offshore low of 7.1087 to the dollar in Hong Kong, according to data from Refinitiv, putting the currency on course for its biggest single-day loss against the dollar since August 2015, when Beijing allowed a sudden depreciation.
In mainland China, the yuan also weakened beyond the 7 yuan to the dollar level—which policy makers in recent years have defended—for the first time since 2008.
In a Twitter outburst earlier in the day, Trump had angrily accused Beijing of weakening the yuan "to steal our businesses and factories."
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, "under the auspices of President Trump, has today determined that China is a currency manipulator," the Treasury Department said in a statement late Monday. As a result, Mnuchin will engage the International Monetary Fund "to eliminate the unfair competitive advantage created by China's latest actions," the statement said.
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