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EM ASIA FX-Strong US data dents Asia FX; Singapore dlr at over 2-wk low ahead of MAS
October 4, 2016 / 4:21 AM / 10 months ago

EM ASIA FX-Strong US data dents Asia FX; Singapore dlr at over 2-wk low ahead of MAS

* Some traders price in Singapore easing risks
    * S.Korean won falls; exporters' demand limit losses
    * Ringgit gains on higher oil prices

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Jongwoo Cheon
    SINGAPORE, Oct 4 (Reuters) - Most emerging Asian currencies
eased on Tuesday as solid U.S. manufacturing activity backed
expectations of a Federal Reserve interest rate hike before
year-end, lifting the dollar and U.S. Treasury yields.
    The Singapore dollar hit its weakest in more than
two weeks as traders grew warier ahead of the central bank's
bi-annual policy decision next week. The Monetary Authority of
Singapore has yet to announce the date of the meeting.
    South Korea's won dipped on disappointing exports
data and as traders remained on guard against possible
intervention by authorities to stem further gains in the best
performing emerging Asian currency this year.
    In the United States, Institute for Supply Management (ISM)
survey showed on the nation's manufacturing sector returned to
expansion in September.
    The upbeat result pushed up the odds of a U.S. interest rate
hike before year-end. Traders are now pricing a 62 percent
chance of a hike in December, and an 11 percent chance of a rate
increase in November, according to CME Group's FedWatch Tool.
    "The better-than-expected U.S. data supported USD and UST
yields, reminding markets that even November remains a live
meeting," said Christopher Wong, a senior FX strategist for
Maybank in Singapore.
    "We expect more USD upside against JPY and SGD, while
commodity linked Asia FX such as MYR may not weaken as much due
to higher oil prices."
    The Malaysian ringgit bucked depreciation among
regional peers as overnight gains in crude prices eased concerns
over the country's oil and gas revenues. 
    
    SINGAPORE DOLLAR
    Singapore's dollar ticked down 0.3 percent to 1.3687 versus
the U.S. dollar, its weakest since Sept 16.
    "The risk is that the MAS re-centres," said Sean Yokota,
head of Asia strategy at Scandinavian bank SEB in Singapore,
adding that markets are pricing in the risk of an easing. 
    "However, I don't think the MAS will ease and SGD will
strengthen post the MAS meeting."
    The central bank manages policy by letting the Singapore
dollar rise or fall against the currencies of its main trading
partners within an undisclosed policy band based on its nominal
effective exchange rate.
    The city-state's currency came under further pressure from
the yen's slide.
    Traders and analysts believe the Japanese currency to be a
part of the undisclosed currency basket used by the MAS to
manage monetary policy.
    The Singapore dollar is seen having chart support at 1.3710,
a 200-day moving average, analysts said. The currency has been
stronger than the average since early March.
    
    WON
    The won was hit by a stronger dollar and weak exports. 
    South Korea's exports in September fell more than expected,
data showed on Saturday. Local financial markets
were closed on Monday for a holiday.
    The South Korean currency pared some of its earlier losses
as exporters continued to buy it on dips for settlements.
    Foreign investors were also set to become net buyers in
Seoul shares. 

    CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
    Change on the day at 0400 GMT
  Currency                 Latest bid   Previous day  Pct Move
  Japan yen                    102.12         101.66     -0.45
  Sing dlr                     1.3682         1.3651     -0.23
  Taiwan dlr                   31.322         31.330     +0.03
  Korean won                  1103.87        1101.30     -0.23
  Baht                          34.67          34.62     -0.14
  Peso                         48.220         48.180     -0.08
  Rupiah                        12985          12980     -0.04
  Rupee                         66.52          66.59     +0.11
  Ringgit                      4.1220         4.1320     +0.24
 *Yuan                         6.6745         6.6745      0.00
                                                              
  Change so far in 2016                                       
  Currency                 Latest bid  End prev year  Pct Move
  Japan yen                    102.12         120.30    +17.80
  Sing dlr                     1.3682         1.4177     +3.62
  Taiwan dlr                   31.322         33.066     +5.57
  Korean won                  1103.87        1172.50     +6.22
  Baht                          34.67          36.00     +3.84
  Peso                          48.22          47.06     -2.41
  Rupiah                        12985          13785     +6.16
  Rupee                         66.52          66.15     -0.56
  Ringgit                      4.1220         4.2935     +4.16
  Yuan                         6.6745         6.4936     -2.71
  * Chinese financial markets are closed for holidays this week.

 (Reporting by Jongwoo Cheon; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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