* Investors cautious on prospects of North Korean missile
* South Korean won is the biggest decliner in the region
* China's producer inflation 6.4 percent y/y in April,
slower than expectations
(Adds text, updates prices)
May 10 Most Asian currencies were trading flat
with investors cautious over the prospect of more nuclear
weapons tests by North Korea and renewed political disruption in
the United States after President Donald Trump abruptly fired
FBI Director James Comey.
Pyangyang's ambassador to Britain, Choe Il, said in an
interview with Sky News on Tuesday that North Korea was ready to
conduct a sixth nuclear test, stoking investor fears that
military tensions on the Korean Peninsula could escalate at any
"We have got bit of risk aversion coming because of
geopolitical-sabre rattling." said Stephen Innes, senior trader
The South Korean won was the worst performer hit
in the region tracking declines in local equities. The broader
index fell more than quarter of a percent.
On Wednesday, South Korea's new President Moon Jae took the
oath of office a day after his liberal Democratic Party's
decisive victory in an election called to replace Park Geun-hye,
who was removed from office in March over a corruption scandal.
"Moon Jae-in's presidency is positive for the market.
However, because his win has been widely expected we believe
there may be some 'sell on the news' profit-taking pressure,"
CLSA said in a note.
News from China of slowing factory-gate prices added to the
gloom around emerging-Asia currencies. China's April producer
price inflation was 6.4 percent from a year earlier, slower than
the economist's expectations for 6.9 percent, and fall from the
previous month's 7.6 percent.
The softer April inflation data, combined with slightly
slower growth in manufacturing activity, reinforced analysts'
views that China's economic expansion remains solid but is
starting to moderate after a surprisingly strong start to the
Some analysts said benign inflation data would give the
People's Bank of China (PBOC) more leeway to tighten policy.
"Policy makers may step back from the relatively
aggressive monetary policy tightening, under the backdrop of
mild inflationary pressures and weakening activity growth,"
Goldman Sachs said in a note.
Monetary policy is not expected to be tightened in the
Philippines either, according a Reuters poll taken ahead of a
central bank policy meeting scheduled for Thursday.
The Philippine peso was trading flat on the day, as
were several other emerging market currencies .
CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
Change on the day at
Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move
Japan yen 113.770 113.98 +0.18
Sing dlr 1.409 1.4111 +0.13
Taiwan dlr 30.252 30.258 +0.02
Korean won 1133.600 1131.4 -0.19
Baht* 34.763 34.763 +0.00
Peso 49.955 49.925 -0.06
Rupiah 13350.000 13345 -0.04
Rupee* 64.620 64.62 +0.00
Ringgit* 4.345 4.345 +0.00
Yuan 6.906 6.9075 +0.03
*Closed for market
Change so far
Currency Latest bid End 2016 Pct Move
Japan yen 113.770 117.07 +2.90
Sing dlr 1.409 1.4490 +2.82
Taiwan dlr 30.252 32.279 +6.70
Korean won 1133.600 1207.70 +6.54
Baht 34.763 35.80 +2.98
Peso 49.955 49.72 -0.47
Rupiah 13350.000 13470 +0.90
Rupee 64.620 67.92 +5.11
Ringgit 4.345 4.4845 +3.21
Yuan 6.906 6.9467 +0.59
(Reporting By Patturaja Murugaboopathy in Bengaluru; Editing by