The Chinese yuan has declined as much as about 10 percent against the U.S. dollar as U.S. President Donald Trump uses tariffs and the threat of more as he seeks to rebalance trade and change China's business practices. Falls in the yuan also mean weakness in relation to the Hong Kong dollar as the latter is essentially pegged to the greenback, moving in a tight, designated band.
That could be expected to hit the retail industry in the city since mainland customers make up a large portion of consumers. That effect hasn't been seen, however.
Hong Kong retail sales increased 9.5 percent in August from the same month the year before, accelerating from July's 7.8 percent, according to figures in a report last week from Jessica Fei Ye, an equities analyst at Jefferies. In fact, visits by Chinese tourists to Hong Kong, rose 22 percent in August, compared with 8 percent in July, according to the report.
"Contrary to the market expectation, the mainland visitor consumption seems more resilient than local consumption after the sharp depreciation of the RMB," Citi consumer sector analyst Tiffany Feng said in a report released Thursday, using an abbreviation for the renminbi, another name for China's currency.
Feng cited mainland authorities' implementation of a simplified visa application process for its citizens who visit Hong Kong and continued strong demand by mainland consumers for cosmetics and jewelry in the city.