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President Obama Welcomes China's Decision on Currency

U.S. President Barack Obama welcomed China's announcement Saturday to allow a more flexible exchange rate for its currency, the yuan.

Other leaders and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) also hailed China's move that could allow the yuan to appreciate after nearly two years of being held at about 6.8 yuan per dollar.

Mr. Obama called China's central bank decision a constructive step that will help protect the global economic recovery.

Beijing has been under international pressure to allow the yuan to rise in value in order to help reduce global economic imbalances, including the large U.S. trade deficit with China.

The People's Bank of China announced the new yuan policy a week ahead of the summit of the world's top 20 economies in Toronto, Canada June 26-27.

China's currency was expected to be on the agenda. But Chinese news media Friday quoted officials as saying they would not engage in any discussions on the yuan.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.