* 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 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
The baht eased 0.1 percent to 36.02. Dollar-selling
interest from local exporters, however, helped to temper its
CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
Change on the day at 0445 GMT
Currency Latest bid Previous Pct
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
Currency Latest bid End prev Pct
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)