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EM ASIA FX-Asia currencies lose momentum as doubts rise over OPEC deal
September 29, 2016 / 6:21 AM / in a year

EM ASIA FX-Asia currencies lose momentum as doubts rise over OPEC deal

* Ringgit at 1-week high; resistance seen at 4.10/dlr
    * Won turns softer after 3-week peak on refiners' dollar
demand
    * Taiwan dollar up on equity inflows; oil importers limit
gains

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Jongwoo Cheon
    SINGAPORE, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Most emerging Asian
currencies retreated on Thursday as doubts surfaced over OPEC's
agreement to curb oil production and as investors stayed wary of
adding bullish bets ahead of the U.S. presidential election.
    Regional currencies initially rose, led by the Malaysian
ringgit, as crude prices jumped after the Organization
of the Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed to limit its
production in talks held on the sidelines of an energy
conference in Algeria. 
    But most of the currencies lost upward momentum as oil
prices retreated on growing scepticism over how the oil cartel
would implement a plan to curb output. 
    Uncertainties over the U.S. elections in November also
weighed on sentiment.
    "Into the November election, EM Asia FX strength will be
limited," said Sean Yokota, head of Asia strategy at
Scandinavian bank SEB in Singapore.
    "Much of the positive carry has been eroded and you don't
get paid to be long Asia. And every debate provides event risk,
which can be negative for risk sentiment," Yokota said.
    Before the first debate between U.S. Democrat presidential
candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, most
emerging Asian currencies had slid on Monday.
    Regional currencies rebounded on Tuesday as Clinton was seen
beating Trump in the debate. The Republican is viewed as
negative for emerging Asian countries, being perceived as more
protectionist on international trade.
    
    RINGGIT
    The ringgit rose as much as 4.1000 per dollar, its strongest
since Sept. 22, as traders cut bearish bets on the oil rebound.
The Malaysian currency closely tracks crude prices due to the
country's reliance on oil and gas exports.
    The ringgit pared some of its earlier gains due to a lack of
detail on the OPEC agreement.
    "Oil should stay supportive short term, but until there is a
convincing break above $50 per barrel, the USD/MYR will continue
to be supported on dips," said Stephen Innes, senior FX trader
for FX broker OANDA in Singapore. Brent crude eased
to$48.61 a barrel in early afternoon trade in Asia.
    The ringgit is also seen having chart resistance around the
session high, said a senior Malaysian bank trader in Kuala
Lumpur.
    The currency has been closing daily sessions weaker than the
level since Sept. 13.
    
    TAIWAN DOLLAR
    The Taiwan dollar advanced as local shares rose more
than 0.8 percent and on demand from foreign financial
institutions.
    Exporters also bought the island's currency for quarter-end
settlements.
    Oil importers, however, purchased the U.S. dollar around
31.200 for payments, limiting the Taiwan dollar's upside,
traders said.
    Investors were awaiting the central bank's monetary policy
meeting later in the day. The authority is predicted to refrain
from cutting interest rates, as it expects economic prospects to
improve for the trade-dependent economy. 
    
    WON
    The won earlier appreciated as much as 0.5 percent to
1,091.6 per dollar, its strongest since Sept. 8.
    The South Korean currency quickly cut gains and turned
weaker as oil importers rushed to buy the greenback for
payments.
    Caution also grew over possible intervention by the foreign
exchange authorities to stem further gains in the
best-performing emerging Asian currency.
    "Refiners' dollar demand increased, probably due to
expectations of more rises in oil prices," said a foreign bank
currency trader in Seoul.

    CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
    Change on the day at 0610 GMT
  Currency                Latest bid   Previous day  Pct Move
  Japan yen                   101.70         100.70     -0.99
  Sing dlr                    1.3635         1.3592     -0.32
  Taiwan dlr                  31.350         31.432     +0.26
  Korean won                 1098.31        1096.80     -0.14
  Baht                         34.63          34.61     -0.05
  Peso                        48.300         48.250     -0.10
  Rupiah                       12970          12945     -0.19
  Rupee                        66.54          66.46     -0.12
  Ringgit                     4.1160         4.1360     +0.49
  Yuan                        6.6710         6.6750     +0.06
                                                             
  Change so far in 2016                                      
  Currency                Latest bid  End prev year  Pct Move
  Japan yen                   101.70         120.30    +18.29
  Sing dlr                    1.3635         1.4177     +3.98
  Taiwan dlr                  31.350         33.066     +5.47
  Korean won                 1098.31        1172.50     +6.75
  Baht                         34.63          36.00     +3.96
  Peso                         48.30          47.06     -2.57
  Rupiah                       12970          13785     +6.28
  Rupee                        66.54          66.15     -0.59
  Ringgit                     4.1160         4.2935     +4.31
  Yuan                        6.6710         6.4936     -2.66
 
 (Reporting by Jongwoo Cheon; Additional reporting by Roger Tung
in TAIPEI and Yena Park in SEOUL; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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