* Singapore dollar firm after suspected c.bank intervention
* Move comes after Singapore dollar set 7-year low Thursday
* Won hits 9-month low; Taiwan dollar touches 5-month low
* Other Asian currencies languish near recent troughs
(Adds text, updates prices)
By Masayuki Kitano
SINGAPORE, Dec 23 The Singapore dollar edged
higher on Friday after suspected central bank intervention,
though Asian currencies looked wobbly and remained vulnerable
amid expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve will pick up the pace
of interest rate rises in 2017.
The Singapore dollar rose 0.3 percent to 1.4465 per
U.S. dollar, pulling away from Thursday's low of 1.4517, which
was its weakest level since August 2009.
The Singapore dollar held firm after pushing higher earlier
"There is talk of intervention activity in the markets, and
with year end flow and liquidity lower, we are possibly seeing
some exaggerated moves," said Saktiandi Supaat, head of FX
research for Maybank in Singapore.
"That could partly explain some of the sharp intraday SGD
strength against the U.S. dollar," he added.
The South Korean won and Taiwan dollar both added to their
recent losses. The won hit a fresh 9-month low at 1,204.5
per dollar, while the Taiwan dollar touched its
lowest level in nearly five months at 32.172.
Foreign investor outflows from Taiwanese equities are seen
as one of the catalysts behind the Taiwan dollar's recent
Foreign investors may have pulled some money out of South
Korean bonds recently and that may be weighing on the won, said
Hirofumi Suzuki, an economist for Sumitomo Mitsui Banking
Corporation in Singapore.
"Domestic investors (in South Korea) are probably buying
bonds on the back of a worsening economic outlook... On the
other hand, foreign investors are pulling funds out of emerging
markets," Suzuki said.
Emerging Asian currencies have declined broadly since early
November, as the dollar and U.S. bond yields jumped on
expectations incoming U.S. President Donald Trump's plans to
boost infrastructure spending and cut taxes will boost economic
growth and inflation.
Asian currencies have come under renewed pressure after the
Fed raised interest rates last week for the first time in a
year, and also signalled three hikes in 2017.
Higher U.S. interest rates and bond yields can reduce the
attractiveness of investing in emerging market assets and spur
capital outflows from these countries.
The Singapore dollar showed little reaction after November
industrial production came in stronger than expected.
Singapore's industrial production in November rose at the
fastest annual pace in more than 2-1/2 years as electronics
output jumped, a welcome boost to an economy flirting with
CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
Change on the day at 0700 GMT
Currency Latest bid Previous Pct
Japan yen 117.37 117.53 +0.14
Sing dlr 1.4465 1.4510 +0.31
Taiwan dlr 32.162 32.030 -0.41
Korean won 1202.87 1199.10 -0.31
Baht 36.01 36.02 +0.04
Peso 49.910 49.990 +0.16
Rupiah 13457 13450 -0.05
Rupee 67.87 68.01 +0.21
Ringgit 4.4770 4.4760 -0.02
Yuan 6.9499 6.9440 -0.08
Change so far
Currency Latest bid End prev Pct
Japan yen 117.37 120.30 +2.50
Sing dlr 1.4465 1.4177 -1.99
Taiwan dlr 32.162 33.066 +2.81
Korean won 1202.87 1172.50 -2.52
Baht 36.01 36.00 -0.02
Peso 49.91 47.06 -5.71
Rupiah 13457 13785 +2.44
Rupee 67.87 66.15 -2.53
Ringgit 4.4770 4.2935 -4.10
Yuan 6.9499 6.4936 -6.57
(Reporting by Masayuki Kitano; Additional reporting by IFR
Markets' Catherine Tan; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)