SHANGHAI, Sept 10 (Reuters) - China's yuan slipped on Thursday, as market participants awaited a European Central Bank meeting to gauge policymakers' views on the common currency's recent appreciation. Traders said the yuan could again test the 6.81 to the dollar level if the euro remains strong. While markets expect the ECB to keep policy steady, investors will closely watch President Christine Lagarde's comments on how the euro's rise to a two-year high this month affects the outlook for inflation and economic growth. Spot yuan opened at 6.8330 per dollar and was changing hands at 6.8381 at midday, 61 pips weaker than the previous late session close. The People's Bank of China set the midpoint rate at 6.8331 per dollar prior to the market open, firmer than the previous fix of 6.8423 and the strongest since Sept. 3. Traders also noted the impact from the U.S. stock market moves and developments in the Sino-U.S. relations. "For the short-term, there is a big impact from the U.S. equities. The yuan appreciation could lose momentum if the U.S. stocks extend declines," said a trader at a Chinese bank. Investors could seek shelter in the safe-haven greenback in case of a sharper correction on the Wall Street, pushing the dollar index higher and putting pressure on renminbi. The United States has revoked visas for more than 1,000 Chinese nationals under a May 29 presidential proclamation to suspend entry from China of students and researchers deemed security risks, a State Department spokeswoman said on Wednesday. The Thomson Reuters/HKEX Global CNH index, which tracks the offshore yuan against a basket of currencies on a daily basis, stood at 93.37, weaker than the previous day's 93.43. The global dollar index fell to 93.154 from the previous close of 93.259. The offshore yuan was trading at 6.8395 per dollar at midday. Offshore one-year non-deliverable forwards contracts (NDFs), considered the best available proxy for forward-looking market expectations of the yuan's value, traded at 6.9863. One-year NDFs are settled against the midpoint, not the spot rate. The yuan market at 4:05AM GMT: ONSHORE SPOT: Item Current Previous Change PBOC midpoint 6.8331 6.8423 0.13% Spot yuan 6.8385 6.832 -0.10% Divergence from 0.08% midpoint* Spot change YTD 1.82% Spot change since 2005 21.03% revaluation Key indexes: Item Current Previous Change Thomson 93.37 93.43 -0.1 Reuters/HKEX CNH index Dollar index 93.154 93.259 -0.1 *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% from official midpoint rate it sets each morning. OFFSHORE CNH MARKET Instrument Current Difference from onshore Offshore spot yuan 6.8395 -0.01% * Offshore 6.9863 -2.19% non-deliverable forwards ** *Premium for offshore spot over onshore **Figure reflects difference from PBOC's official midpoint, since non-deliverable forwards are settled against the midpoint. . (Reporting by Luoyan Liu, Jindong Zhang and Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Kim Coghill)
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