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China yuan's steadies at 5-month highs after stronger fix

HONG KONG, Aug 18 (Reuters) - China's yuan held at five-month highs on Monday after the central bank signaled it was comfortable with the currency's recent gains by setting the daily midpoint stronger against the dollar. The yuan's recent rally has wiped out more than half of the 3.3 percent of losses for the currency earlier this year when the monetary authorities engineered an unexpected depreciation to deter speculative bets on the currency's one-sided rise. The People's Bank of China set the midpoint rate at 6.1528 per dollar prior to market open on Monday, slightly stronger than 6.1538 per dollar on Friday. The spot rate is currently allowed to trade 2 percent above or below the midpoint. The spot market opened at 6.1460 per dollar, up slightly from 6.1470 per dollar at the previous close, and was changing hands at 6.1466 in late morning trades.

The onshore spot yuan market at a glance:

Item Current Previous Change PBOC midpoint 6.1528 6.1538 0.02% Spot yuan 6.1467 6.147 0.00%

Divergence from midpoint* -0.10%

Spot change ytd -1.51% Spot change since 2005 revaluation 34.65% *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 percent from official midpoint rate it sets each morning.

OFFSHORE CNH MARKET

The offshore yuan market at a glance:

Instrument Current Difference

from onshore

Offshore spot yuan * 6.1444 0.06% Offshore non-deliverable 6.2185 -1.06% forwards ** * Premium for offshore spot over onshore **Figure reflects difference from PBOC's official midpoint,

since non-deliverable forwards are settled against the midpoint. .

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FACTBOX - Yuan and capital account reforms and pilot programs

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS - PBOC cuts back on intervention, but not totally hands off - China's weak currency disappoints carry trade hunters

- China's yuan rises on dollar, pulls away from 4-1/2-month highs - China's weak currency disappoints carry traders

- Hong Kong should cherish its standing as offshore yuan hub - China c.banker - US warns China over currency depreciation - Capital flows, improving trade to prop up yuan in H2

KEY DATA POINTS - Yuan spot performance versus midpoint after trading band widened http://link.reuters.com/jyz38v

- China's yuan, other emerging mkt currencies vs dollar http://link.reuters.com/xyd46v

- Global currency performance INTERACTIVE GRAPHIC: http://link.reuters.com/cyx46v

- China's trade surpluses mainly driven by weak imports rather than strong exports. GRAPHIC: http://link.reuters.com/qav68s

- Despite relatively stable dollar/yuan exchange, the yuan is appreciating on a trade-weighted basis. GRAPHIC: http://link.reuters.com/sed74t

For a summary of all recent coverage and graphics on the internationalization of the yuan, click here:

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(Reporting by Saikat Chatterjee; Editing by Kim Coghill)