This is the current USD-CNY mid-market exchange rate. The Total Cost of buying foreign currency in the above table is calculated as the sum of all fees and the exchange rate margin, which is the difference between the provider's exchange rate and the mid-market USD-CNY exchange rate.
Whenever you are researching a particular exchange rate you are actually interested in two currencies as the value of a currency must always be quoted relative to a second currency.
So it follows that if you are determining the best time to transact, in this case the USD vs CNY, you should pay attention to both United States Dollar and Chinese Yuan news and forecasts.
26-January-19: 2018 was a reasonable year for the dollar. Measured by the US Dollar Index, the greenback appreciated by 4 percent, which was much better than 2017’s 10 percent loss. It was, though, something of a stuttering end to 2018 and the dollar has had mixed fortunes in early 2019.
In December, after lifting US interest rates to 2.25-2.5 percent, the Fed lowered its expectations for future hikes due to so-called “cross currents” (China, Brexit, trade wars etc.). Skepticism among analysts over future Fed hikes has for some time been the main reason for dollar pessimism for 2019, but now, there is also the prospect of a US economic slowdown to contend with.
“A slowdown in the economy is likely to weigh on USD particularly in the second half of this year,” a CIBC researcher said in January.
Of the same opinion was an expert at ING, who argued that the dollar is soon to “embark on a gradual long-term bearish trend.”
January’s extended US government shutdown also has dollar-negative ramifications. Not only is the shutdown likely to hit first-quarter GDP growth, disagreements within Congress bode poorly for the future of potentially inflationary fiscal spending.
11-January-19: A number of important developments in 2018 worked to reduce demand for the yuan, which lost 5 percent of its value relative to the dollar and 1 percent versus the euro.
Chief among negative developments was Washington’s agenda of trade protectionism. Tariffs make Chinese goods more expensive to American buyers, which lessens their appeal and necessitates a weaker yuan.
A tumbling Chinese stock market didn’t help the yuan either, as investors had little incentive to buy into Chinese companies and therefore one less reason to exchange local currency into yuan. The Shanghai Composite index fell 24 percent in 2018.
2019: The yuan has gotten off to a flyer in 2019. Following constructive trade talks between Washington and Beijing, the yuan traded at a 5-month high of ¥6.75 per dollar on the day of this report. The yuan is, however, still expected to weaken beyond the ¥7 mark against the dollar within the next 6 months, per a January poll of FX professionals. To reach ¥7 would be to have the yuan at its weakest level since 2008.
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