SHANGHAI, May 6 (Reuters) - China's yuan eased to a one-week low against the dollar on the first trading day after the long Labor Day holiday, as investors played catch-up with broad strength in the greenback in global markets. Domestic currency traders said the yuan continues to track movements in the dollar, which hovered below a two-week high on Thursday, consolidating ahead of a key U.S. jobs report that may provide clues on when the Federal Reserve will dial back monetary stimulus. Prior to market opening, the People's Bank of China (PBOC) set the midpoint rate at 6.4895 per dollar, 223 pips or 0.34% weaker than the previous fix last Friday of 6.4672 and the softest since April 27. In the spot market, onshore yuan opened at 6.4800 per dollar and eased to a low of 6.4846 at one point, the weakest since April 28. By midday, spot yuan was changing hands at 6.4797, 52 pips softer than the previous late session close. Traders said while the yuan's broad trend remained largely dependent on the global dollar index, sentiment was buoyed by a strong rebound in tourism revenue during the long holiday, suggesting consumption and economic recovery continued to gather steam. Official data from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism showed that domestic tourism revenue booked 113.2 billion yuan ($17.47 billion) during the five-day Labor Day holiday, up 138.1% from a year earlier, and had recovered to 77% of pre-COVID levels. "Consumption recovery will help fuel the growth momentum ahead, and we see policy stability ahead of the CCP's (Chinese Communist Party's) centenary celebration in July," Citi analysts said in a note. Markets are also focused on Sino-U.S. relations. U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said on Wednesday she expects to engage "in the near term" with Chinese officials to assess their implementation of the "Phase 1" trade deal between the two countries, with the outcome to influence the fate of Washington's punitive tariffs on Beijing. "That says, the first China-U.S. trade talks under Biden's presidency could take place any time soon, with the issues on the China's intellectual property protection and the purchases of U.S. goods in focus," said Ken Cheung, chief Asian FX strategist at Mizuho Bank in Hong Kong. "While we do not look for a new China-U.S. trade war in the near term, any escalation in China-U.S. tensions alongside broader financial sanctions could keep the CNH and CNY on the back foot." Separately, cash conditions in the interbank market loosened at the start of the month, as investors shrugged off the PBOC's biggest cash drain on a net basis since Feb. 22. Loose cash conditions usually weigh on the currency. The PBOC injected 10 billion yuan through reverse repos earlier in the session. With 50 billion yuan of such loans maturing, the central bank withdrew a net 40 billion yuan from the financial system. By midday, the global dollar index stood at 91.338, while the offshore yuan was trading -0.01 percent away from the onshore spot at 6.4802 per dollar. The yuan market at 0354 GMT: ONSHORE SPOT: Item Current Previous Change PBOC midpoint 6.4895 6.4672 -0.34% Spot yuan 6.4797 6.4745 -0.08% Divergence from -0.15% midpoint* Spot change YTD 0.75% Spot change since 2005 27.73% revaluation Key indexes: Item Current Previous Change Thomson 97.1 96.96 0.2 Reuters/HKEX CNH index Dollar index 91.338 91.26 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 6.4802 -0.01% * Offshore 6.6577 -2.53% 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. . ($1 = 6.4797 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Winni Zhou and Andrew Galbraith; editing by Richard Pullin)
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