China sets yuan midpoint much firmer-than-expected for 3rd straight day


SHANGHAI, Aug 29 (Reuters) - China's central bank lowered its official yuan midpoint marginally to a fresh 11-1/2-year low on Thursday, but at a much firmer level than traders had expected.

It is the third straight day that the People's Bank of China (PBOC) has fixed its yuan guidance rate higher than market expectations, a sign investors have read as an official attempt to steady the declines.

The PBOC set the midpoint rate CNY=PBOC at 7.0858 per dollar prior to market open, 23 pips weaker than the previous fix of 7.0835 and the weakest since March 18, 2008.

But, Thursday's official guidance rate was 379 pips or 0.53% stronger than Reuters' estimate of 7.1237 per dollar.

China's onshore spot yuan CNY=CFXS eased for a 10th session on Wednesday, the longest losing streak since December 2015, despite the central bank setting a firmer-than-expected midpoint to help stabilise the currency. CNY/

(Reporting by Winni Zhou and John Ruwitch; Editing by Sam Holmes)

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