June 29, 2017 / 5:21 AM / 2 months ago

EM ASIA FX-Asian currencies climb as dollar slips; yuan soars to 7-mth high

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Christina Martin
    June 29 (Reuters) - Emerging Asian currencies edged up on
Thursday, while China's  yuan hit its highest in more than seven
months as the dollar eroded after investors priced in tighter
monetary policy in Europe.
    Hawkish comments from major central banks signalled the era
of easy money might be coming to an end for more than just the
United States.
    The U.S. Federal Reserve hiked interest rates this month and
left the door open for further increases later in the year. 
    Bank of England Governor Mark Carney surprised many by
conceding a hike was likely to be needed as the economy came
closer to running at full capacity. 
    The Bank of Canada went further, with two top policymakers
suggesting they might tighten as early as July.
    That followed comments from European Central Bank President
Mario Draghi on Tuesday, hinting that the ECB could trim its
stimulus this year. 
    The dollar index, which measures its strength against
six other currencies, sank to a low of 95.754, its lowest level
since last October.    
    "Unlike Wednesday, emerging markets and Asian forex today
have the benefit of improving risk appetite, with the U.S.
dollar now currently under stress," said Emmanuel Ng, FX
strategist at Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Ltd. 
    China's yuan outperformed regional peers, heading
for its third straight session of gains and rising to its
highest level since November 2016. 
    The Korean won was also among the biggest gainers
in Asia, up 0.3 percent, while the Singapore dollar
gained for a third straight day to touch a two-week high. 
    
    CHINA'S YUAN
    The yuan rose as much as 0.4 percent to 6.772 on
Thursday, its strongest level in more than seven months. 
    The People's Bank of China (PBOC) set the yuan midpoint
 at 6.7940 per dollar before market opening,
reflecting the dollar's broad weakness.
    On Wednesday, the central bank set the yuan midpoint at
6.8053 per dollar. 
    The strength in the yuan fixing followed a weaker dollar
trend in global markets and the losses in the U.S. currency in
the spot market also pushed the yuan higher.

    KOREAN WON
    The Korean won rebounded from its previous session and rose
0.3 percent on Thursday, helped by offshore stock-buying and a
boost in equities. 
    The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was up
0.6 percent at 2,396.06 points as of 0516 GMT after touching
2,402.80, a record intraday high.
    South Korean shares bounced and scaled record highs, as tech
and financial shares were boosted by a solid performance in
their U.S. counterparts overnight.
    Offshore investors were poised to be net buyers, purchasing
45.4 billion Korean won ($39.90 million) worth of KOSPI shares
near mid-session.
    
    
    The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar at 0506 GMT.
    
    CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
   
  Currency               Latest bid  Previous day   Pct Move
  Japan yen              112.220           112.28      +0.05
  Sing dlr               1.380             1.3820      +0.15
  Taiwan dlr             30.361            30.438      +0.25
  Korean won             1140.500            1144      +0.31
  Baht                   33.960             33.99      +0.09
  Peso                   50.415              50.5      +0.17
  Rupiah*                13325.000          13325      +0.00
  Rupee                  64.460             64.55      +0.14
  Ringgit                4.294              4.296      +0.05
  Yuan                   6.779             6.7997      +0.30
                                                            
  Change so far in 2017                                     
  Currency               Latest bid  End 2016       Pct Move
  Japan yen              112.220           117.07      +4.32
  Sing dlr               1.380             1.4490      +5.01
  Taiwan dlr             30.361            32.279      +6.32
  Korean won             1140.500         1207.70      +5.89
  Baht                   33.960             35.80      +5.42
  Peso                   50.415             49.72      -1.38
  Rupiah*                13325.000          13470      +1.09
  Rupee                  64.460             67.92      +5.37
  Ringgit                4.294             4.4845      +4.44
  Yuan                   6.779             6.9467      +2.47
 
* Financial markets in Indonesia are closed for a holiday.
    

 (Reporting by Christina Martin in Bengaluru)
  
 
 

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