China launched its long-delayed renminbi-denominated oil futures on Monday, wresting some control from Brent, the global oil standard. The contract is the first Chinese futures product that can be traded by overseas entities without a presence in China. The country has two goals: help its refiners and traders, who have struggled to manage currency risks because of capital controls, hedge against volatility; and more ambitiously, create a standard for oil pricing as a rival to Brent in Europe and West Texas Intermediate in America – a standard that reflects its own supply and demand. China overtook the US as the world’s largest oil importer last year, but the main oil benchmarks are determined in London and New York. For the country to meet its targets it needs to attract overseas participation. Some experts argue China’s launch on Monday will improve the clout of the yuan in financial markets and could threaten the international primacy of the dollar. – The Economist & Reuters & Financial Times

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