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EM ASIA FX-Fed's gradual tightening sign supports Asia FX; yuan at 4-1/2-year low
December 17, 2015 / 2:10 AM / in 2 years

EM ASIA FX-Fed's gradual tightening sign supports Asia FX; yuan at 4-1/2-year low

SEOUL, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Most emerging Asian currencies
edged up on Thursday as investor risk appetite returned after
the U.S. Federal Reserve raised interest rates, signalling
further tightening would be gradual.
    The Fed's policy-setting committee raised the range of its
benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points on Wednesday, the
first increase in nearly a decade. It made clear the move was a
tentative beginning to a "gradual" tightening cycle.
 
    Indonesia's rupiah rose as traders covered short
positions in the second-worst performing Asian currency of the
year. The Thai baht gained with most government bond
prices higher.
    "The beat up currencies like IDR should do well since it's a
risk-on environment with a major risk event out of the way,"
said Sean Yokota, head of Asia strategy for Scandinavian bank
SEB in Singapore.
    Still, analysts and traders doubted if emerging Asian
currencies would appreciate further, given a weaker Chinese yuan
 and a rout in global oil prices.
    "Asian FX strength will be capped though as you saw from CNY
fixing moving higher again. China is comfortable letting the
currency weaken and that caps major strength in Asian FX despite
the risk-on sentiment," Yokota said, referring to moves in
dollar/yuan.
    The renminbi touched its weakest level since June 2011 after
China's central bank set its daily guidance rate at a 4-1/2-year
low. 
    The Singapore dollar lost ground, hit by data
showing the city-state's exports in November unexpectedly fell
on a decline in sales to China and Europe. 
    
    CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
    Change on the day at 0140 GMT
  Currency    Latest bid   Previous day    Pct Move
  Japan yen       122.47         122.22       -0.20
  Sing dlr        1.4130         1.4068       -0.44
  Taiwan dlr      32.813         32.950       +0.42
  Korean won     1179.10        1176.20       -0.25
  Baht             36.00          36.07       +0.19
  Peso             47.27          47.34       +0.15
  Rupiah        14032.00       14065.00       +0.24
  Rupee            66.73          66.73       +0.00
  Ringgit         4.3100         4.3120       +0.05
  Yuan            6.4820         6.4733       -0.13
 
  Change so far in 2015
  Currency    Latest bid  End prev year    Pct Move
  Japan yen       122.47         119.66       -2.30
  Sing dlr        1.4130         1.3260       -6.16
  Taiwan dlr      32.813         31.718       -3.34
  Korean won     1179.10        1099.30       -6.77
  Baht             36.00          32.90       -8.61
  Peso             47.27          44.72       -5.39
  Rupiah        14032.00       12380.00      -11.77
  Rupee            66.73          63.03       -5.54
  Ringgit         4.3100         3.4965      -18.87
  Yuan            6.4820         6.2040       -4.29
 
    

 (Reporting by Jongwoo Cheon; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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