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REFILE-EM ASIA FX-Asian currencies slip, focus on coming U.S.-China summit
April 5, 2017 / 5:33 AM / 6 months ago

REFILE-EM ASIA FX-Asian currencies slip, focus on coming U.S.-China summit

 (Refiles to correct one word in the 10th paragraph)
    * Baht, Taiwan dollar, won and rupee edge lower
    * Near-term focus on U.S.-China summit meeting
    * Thai baht pulls away from recent 20-month high
    * Some wary of more steps to limit baht strength

    By Masayuki Kitano
    SINGAPORE, April 5 (Reuters) - Some Asian currencies edged
lower on Wednesday, ahead of a United States-China summit that
could highlight trade tensions between the world's two largest
economies.
    The South Korean won fell 0.3 percent, while the
Taiwan dollar and Indian rupee both slipped by
around 0.2 percent.  
    The Thai baht led the losses with a decline of 0.4 percent
 and pulled away from a 20-month high of around 34.285 
reached on Monday.
    The baht was weighed down by concerns that the Bank of
Thailand (BOT) could introduce further steps to stem hot money
inflows, analysts at Maybank said in a research note.
    Thailand's short-dated bond yields declined at a bond
auction on Tuesday, as the central bank cut supply in a bid to
slow foreign fund inflows.
    The BOT will cut its new weekly supply of three-and
six-month bonds to 30 billion baht each in April from 40 billion
offered weekly last month. 
    Some investors believe the central bank may take more moves
to limit the baht's strength, and have reduced their long
positions in the currency, traders said.    
    Most other emerging Asian currencies were little changed
before talks between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese
President Xi Jinping that start on Thursday.
    If the two leaders have an amicable meeting, that may 
reduce the risk of the United States imposing some form of trade
measures against China for the time being and be positive for
Asian currencies, said Kota Hirayama, senior economist for SMBC
Nikko Securities in Tokyo.
    Despite uncertainty about the U.S-China relationship and
other risks such as France's presidential elections on April 23
and May 7, Asian currencies will probably stay firm this month,
Hirayama said.
    "I don't think that the broad trend of an improvement (in
Asian economies) on the back of a pick-up in trade will break
down," he said.
    
    INDONESIAN RUPIAH
    The rupiah held steady at 13,323 per U.S. dollar. 
    Since February, the rupiah has mostly traded around
13,300-13,400, with its advance stalling near the 13,300 level
per U.S. dollar even though foreign fund inflows into Indonesian
bonds have been strong.
    In March, overseas investors increased their holdings of
Indonesian government bonds by 31.3 trillion rupiah ($2.35
billion).
    Indonesian authorities are probably reluctant to see the
rupiah appreciate beyond the 13,300 level, said Teppei Ino, an
analyst for Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ in Singapore, noting
that Indonesia's foreign reserves have risen in recent months.  
 
    "If you just look at the flow of money (into Indonesian
bonds), it wouldn't have been strange to see levels such as
13,200 or 13,100," he said.
    
    CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR      
  Change on the day at   0451 GMT                     
  Currency               Latest bid   Previous     Pct
                                           day    Move
  Japan yen                  110.64     110.75   +0.10
  Sing dlr                   1.3983     1.3984   +0.01
  Taiwan dlr                 30.403     30.336   -0.22
  Korean won                1125.40    1121.90   -0.31
  Baht                        34.53      34.41   -0.35
  Peso                       50.165     50.175   +0.02
  Rupiah                      13323      13327   +0.03
  Rupee                       65.13      65.03   -0.15
  Ringgit                    4.4285     4.4300   +0.03
  Yuan                       6.8866     6.8835   -0.05
                                                      
  Change so                                           
 far in 2017                                    
  Currency               Latest bid   End prev     Pct
                                          year    Move
  Japan yen                  110.64     117.07   +5.81
  Sing dlr                   1.3983     1.4490   +3.63
  Taiwan dlr                 30.403     32.279   +6.17
  Korean won                1125.40    1207.70   +7.31
  Baht                        34.53      35.80   +3.69
  Peso                        50.17      49.72   -0.89
  Rupiah                      13323      13470   +1.10
  Rupee                       65.13      67.92   +4.29
  Ringgit                    4.4285     4.4845   +1.26
  Yuan                       6.8866     6.9467   +0.87
 
 (Reporting by Masayuki Kitano; Additional reporting by
Satawasin Staporncharnchai in BANGKOK; Editing by Richard
Borsuk)
  
 
 

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