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Report: China readies switch to yuan for oil purchases

In a bid to promote its currency, China may launch a pilot program of paying for oil imports in yuan as soon as the second half of 2018, Reuters reported.

Chinese regulators have asked some financial institutions to prepare for pricing Chinese crude oil imports in yuan rather than the U.S. dollar, the report said.

Officials at some of the Chinese state oil companies claimed they were not aware of such plans, the news agency noted.

China is seeking to internationalize and promote its currency after more than a year of moderate strengthening. The move could have a significant impact on the revival of the nation's economy, the $14 trillion worldwide oil trade, and the U.S. dollar's global dominance.

In 2017, China surpassed the U.S. as the biggest importer of crude oil.