December 28, 2016 / 5:07 AM / in a year

EM ASIA FX-Won and Taiwan dollar touch fresh multi-month lows

* Won hits 9-1/2 month low, Taiwan dollar sets 5-1/2 mth low
    * Singapore dollar firmer, but within sight of 7-year low

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Masayuki Kitano
    SINGAPORE, Dec 28 (Reuters) - The South Korean won and
Taiwan dollar set fresh multi-month lows on Wednesday, after
strong U.S. economic data reinforced expectations that the
Federal Reserve would be more hawkish in 2017.
    The won touched a 9-1/2 month low of 1,208.5 per
U.S. dollar as of 0447 GMT. The Taiwan dollar set a
5-1/2 month low of 32.318.
    Both the won and the Taiwan dollar have come under renewed
pressure against the greenback after the Fed earlier this month
raised interest rates for the first time in a year, and
signalled three more hikes in 2017.
    While the moves in Asian currencies on Wednesday were small,
they were trading at levels that underscored their weak tone. 
    The Singapore dollar edged up 0.1 percent to 1.4491
per U.S. dollar, having set a 7-year low of 1.4519 on Tuesday.
    There are limited reasons for now to pare back bearish bets
against emerging Asian currencies, said Masashi Murata, currency
strategist for Brown Brothers Harriman in Tokyo.
    "It is hard to buy back Asian currencies, given that their
economies aren't doing that great, and also taking into account
how U.S. yields have risen," he said.
    U.S. economic indicators released on Tuesday helped to 
underpin the greenback. U.S. consumer confidence rose to the
highest in more than 15 years in December, while home prices
continued their steady recovery in October.    
    Emerging Asian currencies have declined broadly since early
November as U.S. bond yields jumped on expectations that Donald
Trump's proposals for infrastructure spending and tax cuts will
boost economic growth and inflation.
    Such rises in U.S. bond yields increase the dollar's appeal
and reduce the attractiveness of investing in emerging market
assets. 
        
    THAI BAHT
    The baht eased 0.1 percent to 36.02. Dollar-selling
interest from local exporters, however, helped to temper its
decline. 
    
    CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR    
  Change on the day at   0445 GMT                       
  Currency                 Latest bid   Previous     Pct
                                             day    Move
  Japan yen                    117.62     117.43   -0.16
  Sing dlr                     1.4491     1.4506   +0.10
  Taiwan dlr                   32.285     32.281   -0.01
  Korean won                  1207.60    1207.60   -0.00
  Baht                          36.02      36.00   -0.06
  Peso                         49.820     49.810   -0.02
  Rupiah                        13455      13445   -0.07
  Rupee                         68.20      68.07   -0.19
  Ringgit                      4.4800     4.4760   -0.09
  Yuan                         6.9542     6.9540   -0.00
                                                        
  Change so far                                         
 in 2016                                          
  Currency                 Latest bid   End prev     Pct
                                            year    Move
  Japan yen                    117.62     120.30   +2.28
  Sing dlr                     1.4491     1.4177   -2.17
  Taiwan dlr                   32.285     33.066   +2.42
  Korean won                  1207.60    1172.50   -2.91
  Baht                          36.02      36.00   -0.06
  Peso                          49.82      47.06   -5.54
  Rupiah                        13455      13785   +2.45
  Rupee                         68.20      66.15   -3.01
  Ringgit                      4.4800     4.2935   -4.16
  Yuan                         6.9542     6.4936   -6.62
                                                        
 
 (Reporting by Masayuki Kitano; Additional reporting by IFR
Markets' Catherine Tan)

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