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EM ASIA FX-Won hits 9-1/2 month low; rise in U.S. bond yields dents Asia FX
December 27, 2016 / 5:11 AM / 9 months ago

EM ASIA FX-Won hits 9-1/2 month low; rise in U.S. bond yields dents Asia FX

* Won slips 0.4 pct on the day
    * Taiwan dollar touches 5-1/2 month low
    * Asian currencies sag as US bond yields inch higher

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Masayuki Kitano
    SINGAPORE, Dec 27 (Reuters) - The South Korean won touched a
nine-and-a-half-month low against the dollar on Tuesday, with
most Asian currencies retreating as a rise in U.S. bond yields
helped bolster the greenback.
    The won led losses among Asian currencies with a
drop of 0.4 percent on the day. It touched a low of 1,207.4 per
dollar, the weakest level since March 11.
    The Taiwan dollar slipped to as low as 32.282 per
U.S. dollar, its lowest level since July 7. It later pared its
losses and was last steady on the day.
    Most other Asian currencies sagged on a day when the U.S.
dollar was firmer against major peers, supported by a slight
rise in the U.S. 10-year Treasury yield in Tuesday's
Asian trading. 
    Emerging Asian currencies have declined broadly since early
November as U.S. bond yields jumped on expectations that U.S.
President-elect Donald Trump's proposals for infrastructure
spending and tax cuts will boost economic growth and inflation.
    Worries about Trump's stance on trade have also weighed on
the currencies of export-dependent countries in Asia. 
    Trump has pledged to redraw trade deals to win back American
jobs, and has threatened to hit Mexico and China with high
tariffs once he takes office on Jan. 20.
    Last week, Trump named Peter Navarro, an economist who has
urged a hard line on trade with China, to head a newly formed
White House National Trade Council. 
    "It does bring home the point that Trump has got some axe to
grind... when it comes to bilateral negotiations with China and
these will not be without impact for the rest of Asia given the
supply-chain linkages," said Vishnu Varathan, a senior economist
for Mizuho Bank in Singapore, referring to Trump tapping Navarro
for the trade advisory role.
    Lingering concerns about China's economic outlook are also 
weighing on the South Korean won and the Taiwan dollar, he said.
    "It is not going to move in a straight line but the tendency
may be more towards weakness than not for these currencies,"
added Varathan, regarding the outlook for the won and the Taiwan
dollar in the first quarter of 2017.
    
    SINGAPORE DOLLAR
    The Singapore dollar eased 0.1 percent to 1.4492
per U.S. dollar. 
    Wariness toward the risk that the central bank could
intervene if the city-state's currency slips to levels beyond
1.45 per U.S. dollar helped limit the Singapore dollar's losses.
 
    The Singapore dollar had posted mild gains last Friday after
suspected U.S. dollar-selling intervention by the city-state's
central bank. The suspected intervention came after the
Singapore dollar touched a seven-year low of 1.4517 on Thursday.
 
    There had also been market chatter about suspected
intervention last Tuesday, when the Singapore dollar slipped to
as low as 1.4507. 

    CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
  Change on the day at   0449 GMT                       
  Currency               Latest bid   Previous  Pct Move
                                           day  
  Japan yen                  117.32     117.11     -0.18
  Sing dlr                   1.4492     1.4483     -0.06
  Taiwan dlr                 32.260     32.250     -0.03
  Korean won                1206.30    1201.40     -0.41
  Baht                        36.02      35.96     -0.17
  Peso                       49.800     49.770     -0.06
  Rupiah                      13433      13445     +0.09
  Rupee                       67.86      67.74     -0.18
  Ringgit                    4.4760     4.4725     -0.08
  Yuan                       6.9495     6.9487     -0.01
                                                        
  Change so far in                                      
 2016                                           
  Currency               Latest bid   End prev  Pct Move
                                          year  
  Japan yen                  117.32     120.30     +2.54
  Sing dlr                   1.4492     1.4177     -2.17
  Taiwan dlr                 32.260     33.066     +2.50
  Korean won                1206.30    1172.50     -2.80
  Baht                        36.02      36.00     -0.06
  Peso                        49.80      47.06     -5.50
  Rupiah                      13433      13785     +2.62
  Rupee                       67.86      66.15     -2.52
  Ringgit                    4.4760     4.2935     -4.08
  Yuan                       6.9495     6.4936     -6.56
 
 (Reporting by Masayuki Kitano, additional reporting by IFR
Markets' Catherine Tan, Reuter FX analyst Ewen Chew; Editing by
Subhranshu Sahu)

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