China lifts yuan midpoint to strongest level in over two months

A China yuan note is seen in this illustration photo May 31, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas White/Illustration/Files

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China’s central bank lifted its official yuan midpoint to the highest level in over two months on Tuesday, reflecting strong gains for the spot yuan a day earlier as Beijing and Washington edged closer to finalizing a first-stage trade agreement.

The People's Bank of China (PBOC) set the midpoint rate CNY=PBOC at 7.0617 per dollar prior to the market open, 145 pips or 0.2% firmer than the previous fix of 7.0762 and the strongest since Aug.26.

Tuesday’s official guidance rate was also the biggest daily uptick in percentage terms since Sept.16.

The onshore spot yuan CNY=CFXS finished the domestic session at a two-month high against the dollar on Monday.

U.S. and Chinese officials are “close to finalizing” some parts of a trade agreement after high-level telephone discussions on Friday, the U.S. Trade Representative’s office and China’s Commerce Ministry said, with talks set to continue.

Reporting by Winni Zhou and Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Shri Navaratnam