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UPDATE 1-China FX regulator expects more stable foundation for yuan after party congress

party congress@ (Adds detail, quotes)

BEIJING, Oct 18 (Reuters) - China's foreign exchange regulator said on Wednesday he expects yuan exchange rates to have a more stable foundation after the 19th Communist Party Congress.

The central bank has "basically exited" from its regular yuan intervention as the currency has recently become more stable said Pan Gongsheng, head of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange. "We can also see that the exchange rate is market-driven, said Pan, who is also a vice central bank governor, speaking on the sidelines of the Chinese Communist Party Congress that started on Wednesday.

The yuan has gained about 5 percent against the dollar so far this year.

Beijing burned through nearly $320 billion of reserves last year and the yuan still fell about 6.5 percent against the surging dollar, its biggest annual drop since 1994.

Policy sources have told Reuters that the central bank is considering a widening of the yuan's trading band after the Communist Party Congress, a largely cosmetic move that would burnish its reform credentials as official policy focuses on reducing debt.

China's curbs on capital outflows and the adoption of an undisclosed "counter-cyclical factor" earlier in May have helped support the yuan, but raised questions about its commitment to opening up the currency.

(Reporting by Beijing Monitoring Desk; Editing by Eric Meijer)