BEIJING -- China's central bank announced Saturday a slight easing of its controversial currency controls. It says it will allow the country's yuan to rise and fall by a slightly wider margin against the dollar in daily trading.The change could allow a faster rise for the yuan, which Washington and other trading partners complain is undervalued. But any increase will likely be too small to satisfy many critics, and Beijing already has warned that future gains will be limited.
The central bank suggested it would restrain a rapid rise by the yuan, pledging to maintain "reasonable and balanced levels." China's multibillion-dollar trade surplus has narrowed in recent months and swung to a deficit in February. Some analysts suggest that will reduce market pressure for the yuan to rise. Chinese leaders have said they planned eventually to allow the yuan to trade freely on global markets, but they say rapid changes could disrupt the country's economy. ___