China's central bank Saturday decided to widen the yuan's trading band against the dollar in a major step towards loosening currency controls.
The yuan is currently allowed to trade 0.5 percent on either side of a midpoint price set by the central bank every trading day.
The new rules -- seen as a shift towards adopting more market-oriented reforms -- will come into effect on Monday and allow the currency to fluctuate by up to 1.0 percent either side, the bank said in a statement.
Beijing's trading partners have long criticised its yuan exchange rate, saying it is kept artificially low, fuelling a flow of cheap exports that have helped trigger huge trade deficits between some countries and China.
However, that pressure has eased since data this year showed China's trade balance with the rest of the world has shifted, ending a long period of huge trade surpluses based on low-cost labour and a cheap yuan.
China has repeatedly vowed to loosen its grip on the yuan as it moves towards full convertibility, but has rejected calls for a faster appreciation for fear of hurting its manufacturing sector, a key driver of its economy.
Saturday's announcement means that the yuan will be allowed to fluctuate further against the dollar but not necessarily appreciate as much as China's trading partners, including the United States, might like.
The bank said the change was decided "in order to meet market demands... (and) enhance the flexibility of RMB (the renminbi, as the yuan is officially known) exchange rate in both directions".
"In view of the domestic and international economic and financial conditions, the People's Bank of China will continue to fulfil its mandates in relation to the RMB exchange rate, keeping RMB exchange rate basically stable."
Ultimately, the government wants the yuan to rival the dollar as a global reserve currency, and to this end it has gradually allowed the currency to trade more freely.
After a pilot programe last year was judged successful, in March this year it gave permission for firms across China to pay for imports and exports in yuan, a way of helping to increase the use of the yuan in trade deals.
India will buy at least 8,000 Spike missiles and more than 300 launchers in a deal worth 32 billion rupees ($525 million), the source
As pro-Russian separatists control more than half of the coal mines in Ukraine, government looks elsewhere to supply coal demand.
Business executives warn of an investment slowdown, while the government wants companies to diversify sales.
The money will be used to develop infrastructure, power distribution and business cooperation, Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete said
If Russian oil giant Rosneft's request for $49 billion from the government is not met, Russia could face larger budgetary and revenue problems, say experts
China launched the first stage of an Asian development bank, in what is widely seen as a challenge to U.S.-backed international banks.
Aid agencies are tentatively also giving away cash and letting refugees decide for themselves what they need. The money is being wisely spent and rarely wasted
The research firm IHS estimated this week that ISIL militants were producing about $2 million worth of crude oil a day before recent U.S.-led air strikes.
The conflict between Turkish and Greek Cypriots on the island continues over the ownership of the hydrocarbon reserves in the exclusive economic zones off the shore of the island
Aeroplane maker company Boeing sells plane parts to Iran, as part of easing the sanctions and first step since 1979
OPEC's second-largest producer, Iran is normally among the first members of the oil producers' group to call for supply cuts to support prices.
The 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) bloc said they would advance structural reforms to unleash new sources of growth.
Ukraine needs to pay its previous debt to Russia by the end of the year and pay in advance for getting new volumes of natural gas
The loss of Khafji's 280,000 barrels per day of Arabian Heavy crude will be felt more in Kuwait, which has far less spare output than its neighbour
Under Lufthansa's proposals, pilots would still be able to retire early, but the age would gradually increase to 60 from 55.