March 7, 2017 / 6:45 AM / 5 months ago

EM ASIA FX-Most Asian currencies edge up as dollar awaits fresh catalysts

4 Min Read

    * Asian currencies have already priced in March Fed rate
hike
    * Won regains footing after drop due to N.Korea missile
launches
    * Analysts say dollar is in a wait-and-watch mode

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    BENGALURU, March 7 (Reuters) - Most emerging Asian
currencies edged higher on Tuesday, as the dollar's rally lost
steam after the market priced in the high likelihood of a U.S.
Federal Reserve interest rate hike next week.
    With a hike already factored in, the dollar needed fresh
catalysts to strengthen, analysts said. 
    The South Korean won regained some ground after
losing more than 2 percent over the past week. 
    The Taiwan dollar rose 0.3 percent, helped by a
rise in domestic equities.
    China's yuan fell slightly after its central bank
set Tuesday's official mid-point at its lowest since Jan. 17.
The central bank is due to announce its forex reserves for
February on Tuesday and the data is likely to show an eighth
consecutive monthly fall, according to a Reuters poll.

    The dollar, which rose last week as market expectations for
a Fed rate hike in March, has slipped against some emerging
Asian currencies this week.
    "The dollar has strengthened, but there was no
follow-through momentum. Right now, the market is in a waiting
mode", said Sim Moh Siong, FX strategist at Bank of Singapore. 
     
    SOUTH KOREAN WON     
    The South Korean won was up around 0.9 percent on
the day.
    Analysts said the won's rise compensated for falls it
suffered on Monday, after North Korea fired four ballistic
missiles into the sea off Japan's northwest coast, stirring
worries about geopolitical risks. 
    Worries about geopolitical tensions related to North Korea
typically doesn't last very long, said Tan Teck Leng, FX
strategist for UBS Wealth Management in Singapore.
    Separately, official data showed on Tuesday that offshore
investors in February boosted their holdings of South Korean
bonds by the biggest amount since 2009, lured by a firmer won.
    The bond holdings by foreign investors rose by a net 5.2
trillion won ($4.50 billion) in February, according to data from
South Korea's Financial Supervisory Service (FSS).
    
 CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR    
  Change on the day at   0548 GMT                        
  Currency                 Latest bid   Previous      Pct
                                             day     Move
  Japan yen                    113.88     113.88    +0.00
  Sing dlr                     1.4099     1.4115    +0.11
  Taiwan dlr                   30.881     30.982    +0.33
  Korean won                  1148.10    1158.00    +0.86
  Baht                          35.07      35.06    -0.02
  Peso                         50.300     50.395    +0.19
  Rupiah                        13345      13348    +0.02
  Rupee                         66.63      66.70    +0.11
  Ringgit                      4.4470     4.4460    -0.02
  Yuan                         6.9015     6.8961    -0.08
                                                         
  Change so                                              
 far in 2017                                      
  Currency                 Latest bid   End prev      Pct
                                            year     Move
  Japan yen                    113.88     117.07    +2.80
  Sing dlr                     1.4099     1.4490    +2.77
  Taiwan dlr                   30.881     32.279    +4.53
  Korean won                  1148.10    1207.70    +5.19
  Baht                          35.07      35.80    +2.10
  Peso                          50.30      49.72    -1.15
  Rupiah                        13345      13470    +0.94
  Rupee                         66.63      67.92    +1.94
  Ringgit                      4.4470     4.4845    +0.84
  Yuan                         6.9015     6.9467    +0.65
   

 (Reporting by Patturaja Murugaboopathy in Bengaluru; Editing by
Richard Borsuk)
  
 
 

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