(Adds text, updates prices)
By Anusha Ravindranath
April 26 Most emerging Asian currencies were
stronger on Wednesday with the Taiwan dollar at a two-and-a-half
year high, spurred by persistent foreign inflows, while the
Indian rupee climbed to a 20-month peak, buoyed by a local stock
The Taiwan dollar rose for a fifth day and was at
its strongest level against the U.S. dollar since September
The currency tracked the strength in local equities, which
rose mirroring an overnight rally on Wall Street and as retail
investors joined the foreign buying spree.
The Indian rupee gained for a third straight
session and took cues from the record rally in local share
market after a host of strong domestic quarterly results and
hopes for additional foreign inflows to India boosted sentiment.
"Even as there are likely gains in the dollar, on the
domestic front, excess rupee liquidity in the banking sector and
continuous (foreign inflows) could prevent the Reserve Bank of
India to intervene aggressively in the forex market," HDFC Bank
said in a note.
"Therefore, the rupee could continue to trade with an
appreciation bias in the near-term."
Meanwhile, investors in broader Asia shifted their focus to
a major tax announcement by U.S. President Donald Trump. He is
set to unveil a tax plan on Wednesday, with markets anticipating
a sharp slash in corporate income tax rates.
Trump's proposal to exclude the controversial
"border-adjustment" tax on imports will come as a relief for
export oriented countries such as Taiwan and South Korea.
"If the tax reforms come as expected, it is going to be
supportive for Asian equities and we can expect a bit more
appreciation in the Asian currencies going forward, just from
the lift in risk appetite," Chang Wei Liang an FX strategist at
Mizuho Bank said.
The dollar surged against the safe-haven yen on Tuesday as
strong new U.S. home sales data and optimism surrounding the
expected tax reforms soothed sentiment.
The Japanese central bank announces the outcome of its
monetary policy meeting on Thursday and is expected to keep its
policy settings steady.
The ringgit rose for a second day to a five-month
Mizuho's Chang said the ringgit is benefiting from the
recently announced liberalisation of its onshore markets, which
helps address foreign investor concerns about managing their
risk exposure in that market.
"We believe that (announcement) could potentially revive
inflows into Malaysia," he said.
Recently, Bank Negara unveiled plans to ease the hedging
rules in the onshore foreign exchange (forex) and bond markets
in Malaysia. (bit.ly/2q5rNEi)(bit.ly/2pk2jm3)
The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against the
dollar at 0527 GMT.
CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
Currency Latest Previous Pct
bid day Move
Japan yen 111.380 111.08 -0.27
Sing dlr 1.392 1.3934 +0.08
Taiwan dlr 30.019 30.152 +0.44
Korean won 1123.40 1125.4 +0.18
Baht 34.403 34.38 -0.07
Peso 49.655 49.675 +0.04
Rupiah 13275.0 13275 +0.00
Rupee 63.990 64.26 +0.42
Ringgit 4.352 4.369 +0.39
Yuan 6.886 6.8851 -0.01
Change so far
Currency Latest End 2016 Pct
Japan yen 111.380 117.07 +5.11
Sing dlr 1.392 1.4490 +4.07
Taiwan dlr 30.019 32.279 +7.53
Korean won 1123.40 1207.70 +7.50
Baht 34.403 35.80 +4.06
Peso 49.655 49.72 +0.13
Rupiah 13275.0 13470 +1.47
Rupee 63.990 67.92 +6.14
Ringgit 4.352 4.4845 +3.04
Yuan 6.886 6.9467 +0.89
(Reporting by Anusha Ravindranath in Bengaluru; Editing by Sam