SHANGHAI, Nov 13 (Reuters) - The yuan eased against a rising dollar on Friday, as sentiment was hammered by a rise in U.S. coronavirus infections, prompting investor worries that the pandemic might create wider disruption to the global economy. Risk-off sentiment in global markets increased safe-haven demand for the greenback and yen after surging daily infections and rising hospitalisations in several U.S. cities, forcing governments to re-impose public health restrictions. Prior to market opening, the People's Bank of China (PBOC) set the midpoint rate at a one-week low of 6.6285 per dollar, 49 pips weaker than the previous fix of 6.6236. In the spot market, onshore yuan opened at 6.6196 per dollar and was changing hands at 6.6264 at midday, 149 pips weaker than the previous late session close. If the yuan finishes the late night session at the midday level, it would have lost 0.28% against the dollar for the week, marking the worst weekly performance in seven. "The market is tracking the dollar's movements," said a trader at a Chinese bank. "Investors await more details about the vaccine breakthrough and U.S. President-elect Joe Biden's China policy agenda." Several currency traders said they were watching the development of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, which could shrink the gap in the pace of economic recovery between China and the rest of the world, which would add pressure to the yuan. However, other analysts remain bullish on the yuan and have revised up their forecasts for the Chinese unit. "Biden's win reduces the CNY's event risk premia, which should allow the currency's value to better reflect its fundamentals," Becky Liu, head of China macro strategy at Standard Chartered, said in a note. "We now expect the CNY to strengthen into H1-2021, before potentially giving back some gains in H2-2021 as China's relative economic strength narrows." Liu revised her forecast for the yuan up to 6.55 at end-2020, 6.30 at end H1-2021, and 6.45 at end-2021. The global dollar index rose to 92.995 at midday, when the offshore yuan was trading at 6.6265 per dollar. The yuan market at 0400 GMT: ONSHORE SPOT: Item Current Previous Change PBOC midpoint 6.6285 6.6236 -0.07% Spot yuan 6.6264 6.6115 -0.22% Divergence from -0.03% midpoint* Spot change YTD 5.08% Spot change since 2005 24.90% revaluation Key indexes: Item Current Previous Change Thomson 95.52 95.4 0.1 Reuters/HKEX CNH index Dollar index 92.995 92.968 0.0 *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 6.6265 0.00% * Offshore 6.8065 -2.62% 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 Winni Zhou and Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Sam Holmes)
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