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EM ASIA FX-Firm dollar takes Asia FX lower; Samsung Galaxy Note 7 burns won
October 11, 2016 / 5:41 AM / a year ago

EM ASIA FX-Firm dollar takes Asia FX lower; Samsung Galaxy Note 7 burns won

* Yuan at 6-year trough, more depreciation views grow
    * Won near 3-week low; foreigners sell Samsung Elec shares
    * Sing dlr at over 4-mth low after minister's economy view

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Jongwoo Cheon
    SINGAPORE, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Most emerging Asian currencies
slid on Tuesday with the Chinese yuan at another six-year low as
the dollar stood tall on growing expectations that the U.S.
Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in December.
    The yuan slumped as market speculation of
depreciation grew after the central bank set a weaker guidance
rate, triggering dollar purchases. 
    South Korea's won hit a near three-week trough,
leading regional losses. Foreign investors sold Samsung
Electronics Co's shares after the world's top
smartphone maker announced it would halt Galaxy Note 7 sales
globally. 
    The Singapore dollar fell to its weakest in more
than four months after a minister was on Monday quoted as saying
the possibility of the trade-reliant economy experiencing "some
quarters of negative growth" cannot be ruled out. 
    Thailand's baht fell to a near three-month low as
most government bond prices slid.
    The U.S. dollar rose against a basket of major
currencies with investors pricing in around a 70 percent chance
that the Fed will raise rates in December, according to CME
Group's FedWatch program.
    Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans said on
Tuesday he "could be fine" with raising U.S. interest rates in
December, but he would prefer to see how the economy and
inflation progressed before deciding. 
    Jeong My-young, Samsung Futures research head in Seoul, said
the U.S. "is seen tightening the monetary policy, while most
other countries are still eyeing for stimulus. That will keep
supporting the dollar broadly and Asian currencies are
inevitable to weaken."  
    "The won will underperform regional peers as it has been
ignoring such bearish factors," Jeong added.
    The South Korean currency has gained nearly 5 percent
against the dollar so far this year, becoming the second
best-performing emerging Asian currency this year.
    
    WON
    The won fell as much as 1.1 percent to 1,120.6 per dollar,
its weakest since Sept. 21.
    The South Korean unit may weaken to 1,130 as it broke
through a chart support at 1,115.2, a 60-day moving average,
Jeong said. At daily local sessions, the won has been closing
firmer than the average since early July.
    Shares of Samsung Electronics lost more than 6 percent,
dragging the main index lower by near 1 percent.
    Foreign investors dumped a net 283.3 billion won ($253.2
million) of equities on Seoul's main exchange by early
afternoon, with Samsung accounting for more than half of the
selling, according to data from a local brokerage.
    Some South Korea's exporters bought won for settlements when
the currency was weaker than 1,120, limiting its downside,
traders said.
    
    SINGAPORE DOLLAR
    The Singapore dollar eased 0.3 percent to 1.3797 per U.S.
dollar, its weakest since June 1.
    The report of Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang's
bearish outlook on the city-state economy came ahead of the
central bank's semiannual monetary policy announcement on
Friday.
    The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is widely expected
to leave its exchange rate-based policy unchanged this week, but
some investors saw risks of easing, traders said. 
    The Singapore dollar came under further pressure from
weakness in the yuan and the Japanese yen. Traders and
analysts believe both currencies to be a part of the undisclosed
currency basket used by the MAS to manage monetary policy.
    
    BAHT
    The baht slid 0.4 percent to 35.19 per dollar, its weakest
since July 14.
    The Thai currency pared some of earlier losses as foreign
investors were also net buyers in the local equity market on
Monday. 
    Domestic financial markets in the previous session dropped
after a palace statement said on Sunday night King Bhumibol
Adulyadej's health was in an unstable condition. 
    Anxiety over the king's health and an eventual succession
has formed the backdrop to more than a decade of bitter
political divide in Thailand that has included two military
coups and often-violent street demonstrations.
    The baht also has chart support at 35.17, the 50 percent
Fibonacci retracement of its appreciation from May through
August, analysts said. The next level is at 35.27, a 200-day
moving average.

    CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
    Change on the day at 0510 GMT
  Currency                 Latest bid   Previous day  Pct Move
  Japan yen                    103.99         103.62     -0.36
  Sing dlr                     1.3790         1.3751     -0.28
  Taiwan dlr                   31.645         31.480     -0.52
  Korean won                  1119.00        1108.40     -0.95
  Baht                          35.16          35.06     -0.28
  Peso                         48.499         48.355     -0.30
  Rupiah                        12988          12975     -0.10
 *Rupee                         66.53          66.53      0.00
  Ringgit                      4.1560         4.1510     -0.12
  Yuan                         6.7150         6.7044     -0.16
                                                              
  Change so far in 2016                                       
  Currency                 Latest bid  End prev year  Pct Move
  Japan yen                    103.99         120.30    +15.68
  Sing dlr                     1.3790         1.4177     +2.81
  Taiwan dlr                   31.645         33.066     +4.49
  Korean won                  1119.00        1172.50     +4.78
  Baht                          35.16          36.00     +2.39
  Peso                          48.50          47.06     -2.97
  Rupiah                        12988          13785     +6.14
  Rupee                         66.53          66.15     -0.57
  Ringgit                      4.1560         4.2935     +3.31
  Yuan                         6.7150         6.4936     -3.30
  * Indian financial markets are closed on Tuesday and Wednesday
for holidays.
 

 (Reporting by Jongwoo Cheon; Additional reporting by Choonsik
Yoo in SEOUL; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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