June 20, 2013 / 7:54 AM / 4 years ago

POLL-Short rupiah, ringgit positions largest in more than 4 years; bearish on Asia FX

* Short rupiah positions largest since Nov 2008
    * Bearish ringgit bets largest since April 2009
    * Philippine peso sees most bearish bets since Jan 2009
    * Short rupee positions highest since May 2012

    By Jongwoo Cheon and Sumanta Dey
    SINGAPORE/BANGALORE, June 20(Reuters) - Short positions in
the Indonesian rupiah and the Malaysian ringgit rose to the
highest levels in more than four years as investor sentiment
toward emerging Asian currencies soured, a Reuters poll showed.
    Asian assets have tumbled this week and regional outflows
have increased on fears the U.S. Federal Reserve will begin
scaling back its massive stimulus programme later this year,
marking the beginning of the end of a wave of cheap money which
flooded into global markets.
    Bearish bets on the rupiah increased to the largest
since November 2008, according to the survey of 16 foreign
exchange analysts published on Thursday. That came even as
Indonesia took steps to stabilise the currency including a
surprise interest rate hike.
    Short positions in the ringgit increased to the
largest since April 2009, showed the poll conducted on Wednesday
and Thursday.
    Views on the Indian rupee turned the most
pessimistic since May 2012 as the currency hit fresh record lows
on concerns over the country's dependence on foreign capital
inflows to fund its current account deficit.
    Indonesia and India are the most vulnerable among emerging
Asian markets to capital outflows on growing expectations the
Fed will reduce its monetary stimulus. These countries run
massive current account deficits that are financed primarily by
foreign portfolio investments.
    Fed Chairman Bernanke said on Wednesday that the U.S.
economy is expanding strongly enough for the Fed to begin
slowing the pace of its $85 billion monthly purchases of
Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities, with the goal of
ending it in mid-2014.
    A cut in the Fed's monetary stimulus is seen reducing yield
attractiveness in emerging Asian countries and inflows to the
region, analysts and traders said.
    Sentiment on the Philippine peso turned bearish
with pessimistic bets on the currency at the highest since
January 2009.
    The peso and the ringgit touched their lowest in more than
one year on Thursday.
    Short positions in the South Korean won rose
five-fold, while such bets on the Singapore dollar more
than doubled.
    Long positions in the Chinese yuan fell to the
lowest since mid-March.
    The Reuters survey is focused on what analysts believe are
the current market positions in nine Asian emerging market
currencies: Chinese yuan, South Korean won, Singapore dollar,
Indonesian rupiah, Taiwan dollar, Indian rupee,
Philippine peso, Malaysian ringgit and the Thai baht.
    The poll uses estimates of net long or short positions on a
scale of minus 3 to plus 3.
    A score of plus 3 indicates the market is significantly long
U.S. dollars. The figures included positions held through
non-deliverable forwards (NDFs).
    The survey findings ASIAPOSN are provided below (positions
in U.S. dollar versus each currency):
 DATE     CNY   KRW   SGD   IDR   TWD   INR   MYR   PHP   THB
 20-June -0.84  0.51  0.69  1.39  0.25  1.66  0.90  0.61  0.70
 6-June  -1.34  0.10  0.28  1.35  0.30  1.19  0.77 -0.17  0.69
 23-May  -1.92  0.51  1.08  0.65  0.40  0.68 -0.27 -0.09  0.35
 9-May   -1.93 -0.83 -0.09  0.43 -0.31 -0.24 -1.04 -0.83  0.17
 25-Apr  -1.71  0.09  0.09  0.44  0.38 -0.20 -0.34  0.20 -1.09
 11-Apr  -1.30  0.79 -0.31  0.42  0.60  0.24 -0.49 -0.12 -1.12
 28-Mar  -0.92  0.61 -0.27  0.43  0.61  0.25  0.23 -0.43 -1.25
 
 (Editing by Kim Coghill)

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