EM ASIA FX-Most Asia currencies rise vs yen, fall vs dollar

Wed Dec 26, 2012 12:45pm IST

* Sing dlr highest since Aug. 2008 vs yen
    * Philippine peso, won strongest since May 2010 to yen
    * Industrial data put pressure on Sing dlr vs U.S. dlr

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Jongwoo Cheon
    SINGAPORE, Dec 26 (Reuters) - Emerging Asian currencies
rallied against the yen on the chance Japan will take drastic
stimulus moves that could spawn inflows for other nations, while
most regional units slid against the dollar on year-end position
adjustments amid U.S. fiscal woes.
    The Singapore dollar hit a four-year high versus
the yen, while the South Korean won and the
Philippine peso touched their strongest in more than
two and a half years to the Japanese currency.
    Shinzo Abe, who has been pushing the Bank of Japan for more
radical easing to defeat Japan's deflation, became the country's
premier on Wednesday.
    "Emerging Asian countries will enjoy more inflows from not
only Japan but also other major countries with policy easing,"
said Yuna Park, a currency and bond analyst at Dongbu Securities
in Seoul.
    "Few countries in the region are likely to follow Japan's
policy stimulus as they are not facing problems of low inflation
and weak growth," Park added.
    Still, investors stayed cautious over the U.S. fiscal
crisis, which has continued to keep pressure on emerging Asian
currencies against the dollar.
    President Barack Obama is cutting short his Hawaii holiday
to return to Washington to work on the unfinished "fiscal cliff"
talks with Congress, White House said on Tuesday.
 
    Worries about the looming fiscal crunch put a brake on
appreciation in emerging Asian currencies, which have been key
beneficiaries of policy stimulus of major central banks.
    
    SINGAPORE DOLLAR
    The Singapore dollar hit 1.2248 to the U.S. dollar,
its weakest since Nov. 23 after data showing the city-state's
industrial production rose a less-than-expected 3.1 percent in
November from a year earlier. 
    The data caused more investors to cover short positions in
the greenback.
    But against the yen, the Singapore dollar rose 0.6 percent
to 1.4306, its strongest since October 2008.
        
    RUPIAH
    The rupiah slid against the dollar on corporate
dollar demand, although the central bank intervened with
dollar-selling to support the Indonesian currency, dealers said.
    The local unit's indicative prices weakened to 9,700 per
dollar, but its market prices were softer than the screen ones,
they said.
    Some investors bought the euro against the rupiah
to secure dollars, dealers said.
    Bank Indonesia was spotted selling dollars when the currency
reached 9,770 as well as 9,750 and 9,730, according to dealers.
    
    PHILIPPINE PESO
    The Philippine peso eased versus the dollar amid
subdued trading as some investors covered short positions in the
greenback before the year-end.
    A foreign bank dealer in Manila said investors still
appeared to hold bearish bets in the U.S. currency, which may
put pressure on the peso.
    "There is still that possibility of dollar/peso moving
higher till Friday as an agreement avoiding the U.S. fiscal
cliff is still far away," the dealer said.
    The peso may head to 41.40 per dollar and 41.50, he added.
    The Philippine currency hit 0.4806 to the yen, its strongest
since May 2010.
           
  CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR   
  Change on the day at 0630 GMT
  Currency    Latest bid   Previous day    Pct Move
  Japan yen        85.25          84.73       -0.61
  Sing dlr        1.2244         1.2210       -0.28
  Taiwan dlr      29.040         29.130       +0.31
  Korean won     1072.70        1074.20       +0.14
  Baht             30.65          30.61       -0.13
  Peso             41.17          41.07       -0.23
  Rupiah         9670.00        9660.00       -0.10
  Rupee            54.96          54.95       -0.02
  Ringgit         3.0690         3.0645       -0.15
  Yuan            6.2341         6.2339       -0.00
 
  Change so far in 2012
  Currency    Latest bid  End prev year    Pct Move
  Japan yen        85.25          76.92       -9.77
  Sing dlr        1.2244         1.2969       +5.92
  Taiwan dlr      29.040         30.290       +4.30
  Korean won     1072.70        1151.80       +7.37
  Baht             30.65          31.55       +2.94
  Peso             41.17          43.84       +6.50
  Rupiah         9670.00        9060.00       -6.31
  Rupee            54.96          53.08       -3.42
  Ringgit         3.0690         3.1685       +3.24
  Yuan            6.2341         6.2940       +0.96
 
 (Additional reporting by IFR Markets' Catherine Tan; Editing by
Richard Borsuk)
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