March 8, 2017 / 6:14 AM / 5 months ago

EM ASIA FX-Asian currencies firmer as investors await U.S. jobs data for cues

    * Rupiah supported by tax amnesty inflows
    * Singapore dollar, Taiwan dollar inch higher
    * China posts trade deficit for first time in three years

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Patturaja  Murugaboopathy 
    BENGALURU, March 8 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies inched
higher on Wednesday, as the dollar struggled to gain traction
ahead of U.S. jobs data due later in the week.
    The Singapore dollar and Taiwan dollar eked
out gains, supported by strength in their equity markets.
    The Indonesian rupiah advanced on strong tax amnesty
inflows.. 
    Data released on Tuesday showed that Indonesia's foreign
exchange reserves rose to $119.9 billion in February, the
highest since August 2011, helped by tax and energy export
revenues.    
    The Malaysian ringgit saw small declines on rising
U.S. Treasury yields, which look to drive increased selling in
Malaysian government bonds, according to analysts. The yield
spread between Malaysian 10-year government bonds and U.S.
10-year Treasuries narrowed to 1.62 percentage points, the
lowest in nearly three months. 
    The dollar was little changed as investors awaited Friday's
U.S. jobs report to take further cues from the market. The
10-day volatility of the dollar index, fell to 5.3 percent, the
lowest in four months.
    "At the moment, most investors are looking for a rate hike,
from the U.S. Federal Reserve in March. But the question now is
whether it is a hawkish hike or a dovish hike. And I think the
non-farm payroll data on Friday will let us know about that,"
said Vaninder Singh, Asia economist at RBS, based in Singapore.
    
    CHINESE YUAN
    China's yuan was little changed on the day. 
    The currency barely reacted to data showing that China's
yuan-denominated trade balance posted a deficit for the first
time in three years in February, as a year-on-year jump in
yuan-denominated imports outpaced a rise in exports.

    Data released on Tuesday showed that China's foreign
exchange reserves unexpectedly rose for the first time in eight
months in February, as a regulatory crackdown and weakness in
the dollar helped staunch capital outflows..
    However, some analysts said the FX reserves showing only a
small gain still point towards significant capital outflow
pressures especially if U.S. Treasury yields rise further.  
    
    CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR   
  Change on the day at   0528 GMT                    
  Currency              Latest bid   Previous     Pct
                                          day    Move
  Japan yen                 113.73     113.98   +0.22
  Sing dlr                  1.4101     1.4111   +0.07
  Taiwan dlr                30.815     30.850   +0.11
  Korean won               1145.50    1146.10   +0.05
  Baht                       35.16      35.08   -0.22
  Peso                      50.270     50.270   +0.00
  Rupiah                     13338      13346   +0.06
  Rupee                      66.64      66.68   +0.07
  Ringgit                   4.4480     4.4450   -0.07
  Yuan                      6.9030     6.9043   +0.02
                                                     
  Change so                                          
 far in 2017                                   
  Currency              Latest bid   End prev     Pct
                                         year    Move
  Japan yen                 113.73     117.07   +2.94
  Sing dlr                  1.4101     1.4490   +2.76
  Taiwan dlr                30.815     32.279   +4.75
  Korean won               1145.50    1207.70   +5.43
  Baht                       35.16      35.80   +1.84
  Peso                       50.27      49.72   -1.09
  Rupiah                     13338      13470   +0.99
  Rupee                      66.64      67.92   +1.93
  Ringgit                   4.4480     4.4845   +0.82
  Yuan                      6.9030     6.9467   +0.63
 

 (Reporting by Patturaja Murugaboopathy in Bengaluru; Editing by
Jacqueline Wong)
  
 
 

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