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Yuan eases, but set to firm for 7th straight week

    SHANGHAI, Sept 11 (Reuters) - The yuan eased on Friday,
tracking slight strength in the U.S. dollar and a softer central
bank guidance rate, but the Chinese currency still looked set to
firm for the seventh week in a row, extending its longest
winning streak since early 2018.
    Prior to the market opening, the People's Bank of China
(PBOC) set the midpoint rate at 6.8389 per dollar, 58
pips weaker than the previous fix of 6.8331. 
    The onshore yuan opened at 6.8389 per dollar and
was changing hands at 6.8388 at midday, 50 pips weaker than the
previous late session close.    
    Trading was thin and the currency kept to an extremely tight
range of 90 pips. Traders said they expected it to continue
consolidating around current levels, passively reacting to
dollar's movements and official midpoint for the time being.
    If the yuan finishes the late night session at the midday
level, it would edge up 0.07% to the dollar for the week, taking
its gains so far this year to 1.8%. 
    Its current streak has been the longest since December 2017
to February 2018, when it firmed nine weeks in a row.
    "Performance of the U.S. stocks and Sino-U.S. relations will
remain the key external uncertainty deciding the yuan's
movements," analysts at China Construction Bank (Asia) said in a
    "The yuan will maintain consolidating in the short term to
react to a stabilising dollar and volatile U.S. stocks."
    A trader at a Chinese bank said the market lacked clear
guidance for now, with many investors likely to shift their
attention to the Federal Reserve's policy meeting next week for
clues on the U.S. central bank's monetary policy trajectory.
Strong measures to boost economic recovery in the world's
largest economy could affect dollar and major currencies.
    The dollar was poised for its first back-to-back weekly
gains since May on Friday as jitters in equity markets had
investors sticking to safer assets.
    The global dollar index traded at 93.263 at midday,
when the offshore yuan was trading at 6.8391 per
    The yuan market at 0404 GMT: 
 Item               Current  Previous  Change
 PBOC midpoint      6.8389   6.8331    -0.08%
 Spot yuan          6.8388   6.8338    -0.07%
 Divergence from    0.00%              
 Spot change YTD                       1.82%
 Spot change since 2005                21.02%
    Key indexes:
 Item            Current     Previous  Change
 Thomson         93.42       93.33     0.1
 CNH index                             
 Dollar index    93.263      93.345    -0.1
*Divergence of the dollar/yuan exchange rate. Negative number
indicates that spot yuan is trading stronger than the midpoint.
The People's Bank of China (PBOC) allows the exchange rate to
rise or fall 2% from official midpoint rate it sets each

 Instrument            Current   Difference
                                 from onshore
 Offshore spot yuan    6.8391    0.00%
 Offshore              6.9992    -2.29%
*Premium for offshore spot over onshore
**Figure reflects difference from PBOC's official midpoint,
since non-deliverable forwards are settled against the midpoint.

 (Reporting by Winni Zhou and Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Kim