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(Adds domestic closing price, analyst comment and chart)
HONG KONG, Sept 3 (Reuters) - The yuan edged lower on Tuesday as Sino-U.S. trade tensions showed no sign of abating, but China's central bank again set a firmer-than-expected guidance rate, tempering losses.
China on Monday lodged a complaint against the United States at the World Trade Organization, after Washington slapped 15% tariffs on various Chinese goods the previous day. Beijing hit back with new duties on U.S. crude oil.
Escalations in the year-long trade conflict led the Chinese currency to its sharpest monthly drop in 25 years in August.
The onshore yuan fell almost 0.1% on Tuesday to finish domestic trading at 7.1785 per dollar, the weakest since February 2008.
But the yuan's losses were limited by the People's Bank of China's fixing, which came in at 7.0884 per dollar, a new 11-1/2-year low but stronger than Reuters' estimate of 7.1099. Spot yuan can trade 2% either side of this guidance rate.
As long as the midpoint stays on the stronger side of 7.1, spot yuan will find support around 7.2, OCBC Wing Hang Bank said in a note on Tuesday.
"Clearly, if there are no concrete developments in the trade talks, the PBoC fixing will set the tone for USDCNY for the time being," Zhou Hao, analyst at Commerzbank, said in a note on Tuesday afternoon.
The PBOC will likely keep the yuan close to its current levels before U.S. and Chinese trade negotiators meet later this month, even if further yuan weakness may help Chinese exporters and economic growth, said a trader with a foreign bank in Shanghai.
"Ultimately, the source of economic pressure is the trade conflict, and the U.S. would not like to see the yuan depreciate too much," he said.
Washington labeled China a currency manipulator last month after Beijing let the yuan slip past 7 per dollar.
A forex sales banker in Hong Kong said the PBOC has no clear "line in the sand" for yuan prices and will instead focus on "trying to contain volatility at this point in time."
The offshore yuan was trading at 7.184 per dollar, up 0.15% on the day.
As U.S. markets reopen after a long weekend, dollar strength buoyed by rising risks of Brexit may add pressure on the yuan, China Construction Bank (Asia) said in a note on Tuesday.
The greenback was up 0.3% at 99.244 by 0828 GMT.
(Reporting by Noah Sin; Editing by Kim Coghill and Jacqueline Wong)