* Yuan steady despite weakest PBOC onshore fixing since 2008
* China July exports beat estimates, seeing off U.S. tariffs
HONG KONG, Aug 8 (Reuters) - China's stock market is poised for its first day of gains in over a week as the yuan steadied and lifted sentiment, easing fears of a full scale Sino-U.S. currency war. ** At the midday break, the Shanghai Composite index was up 0.9% at 2,793.92, while the blue-chip CSI300 index was up 1.2%. Plagued by trade war escalation, the two indexes ended lower in the past six trading days. ** CSI300's financial sector sub-index rose 1.1%, the consumer staples sector went up 1.7%, the real estate index climbed 0.3% and the healthcare sub-index was up 1.6%. ** The smaller Shenzhen index was up 0.9% and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was higher by 1.4%. ** China's central bank on Thursday set its official yuan midpoint below the key 7 to the dollar threshold for the first time since the 2008 global financial crisis. ** Still, the yuan fixing was stronger than markets had feared and supported Asian equities broadly. State banks were also seen supporting the currency earlier this week. The yuan was quoted at 7.0422 per U.S. dollar at 0357 GMT, up almost 0.3% firmer than the previous close. ** China's exports unexpectedly rose in July, growing 3.3% from a year earlier, customs data showed on Thursday, despite mounting U.S. trade pressure. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected exports would fall 2.0%, after a 1.3% decline in June. ** Trade risks still persisted. U.S. President Donald Trump reiterated on Wednesday that his trade policies on China would ultimately benefit the American economy, even as Beijing signalled it could strike back by curbing sales of rare earths. ** MSCI confirmed here on Wednesday it had gone ahead with further inclusion of Chinese A-shares in its Emerging Market Index. The index provider said in March it would quadruple A-shares' weighting, carried out in three steps. ** With economic slowdown still hurting corporate earnings growth, Chinese shares will remain under pressure, China Post Securities' analysts said in a note on Thursday. "The market has limited momentum for recovery, and could break a new bottom in the medium term," they said. ** In Hong Kong, Chinese H-shares rose 0.8%, while the Hang Seng Index was up 0.7% at 26,170.41. ** Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.8% while Japan's Nikkei index was up 0.6%. ** The Shanghai stock index is below its 50-day moving average and below its 200-day moving average.
Reporting by Noah Sin; editing by Gopakumar Warrier