The renminbi’s share of international Swift payments inched higher in February, but that growth came as payments in all currencies fell more than 5 per cent and still left the currency’s global prominence diminished over the longer term.

The Chinese currency accounted for 1.84 per cent of international transactions via the Swift global bank payment messaging network in February, up slightly from 1.68 per cent in January.

But the partial measure of the renminbi’s international prominence showed it remained in sixth place among its international peers for a third straight month, bested once again by the Canadian dollar at 1.89 per cent. The Swiss franc and Australian dollar weren’t too far behind, either, each coming in at roughly 1.6 per cent.

The renminbi’s retrenchment was also visible in the share of payments handled in Hong Kong alone, which continued a gradual climb that began in January with another 1 per cent rise to 76 per cent.

More generally, February saw US dollar dominance maintained at nearly 41 per cent. The euro lost about 1 per cent but retained second place with a 32 per cent share, while the pound’s prominence remained about level at 7.4 per cent. Japan’s yen was up 0.3 percentage points, giving it a 3.3 per cent share.

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