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EM ASIA FX-Stronger yuan, stocks spur weekly gains; US jobs eyed
March 7, 2014 / 6:08 AM / in 4 years

EM ASIA FX-Stronger yuan, stocks spur weekly gains; US jobs eyed

* Rupiah hits 4-month high on capital inflows
    * Taiwan dollar gains on foreign financial institutions
    * Won rises on exporters' demand

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Jongwoo Cheon
    SINGAPORE, March 7 (Reuters) - Most emerging Asian
currencies rose on Friday and were poised to gain on the week,
buoyed by strength in the Chinese yuan and regional equities,
although investors took some profits ahead of the U.S. nonfarm
payrolls report due later in the day.
    The Indonesian rupiah was again the standout
performer of the session, jumping almost 1 percent at one stage
to a four-month high, as offshore funds such as real money
accounts and hedge funds kept buying the country's stocks and
bonds.
    The yuan continued to recover from a drastic
slide in the recent weeks as the central bank fixed its midpoint
firmer, while Asian stock markets tracked gains on Wall
Street. Still, investors were keeping a cautious eye on the
U.S. payrolls report for February.
    Nonfarm payrolls are forecast to have increased by 149,000
last month, according to a Reuters survey of economists, up from
the weather-depressed gains of 113,000 in January and 75,000 in
December.
    Andy Ji, Asian currency strategist for Commonwealth Bank of
Australia, said weather also likely affected the latest data and
Asian currencies may not see a definitive trend for the dollar
after the report.
    "I am still sticking to my intra-regional trades which
basically take the dollar out of equation at this point," said
Ji in Singapore.
    He said he preferred short positions in the won against the
Indian rupee and bearish bets on the Singapore dollar to the
Malaysian ringgit.
    This week, emerging Asian currencies rose on the yuan's
rebound and as geopolitical tensions in Ukraine eased.
    The rupiah has outpaced regional peers with a 1.7 percent
gain against the dollar so far this week, according to Thomson
Reuters data, on sustained capital inflows.
    The rupee has risen 1.2 percent as Indian shares
 hit a record high on strong foreign demand.
    Thailand's baht has gained 1.1 percent, which would
be the largest weekly appreciation since the week ended Sept.
20, on short covering.
    
    RUPIAH
    The rupiah rose as much as 0.9 percent to 11,360 per dollar,
its strongest since Nov. 7, before trimming some gains as
investors took profits before the weekend.
    Still, continued inflows to the country's capital markets
are expected to keep supporting the rupiah, traders said.
    The official Jakarta Interbank Spot Dollar Rate (JISDOR)
, which the central bank launched last year in an
effort to manage exchange rate fluctuations, was fixed at 11,395
rupiah per dollar, stronger than Thursday's 11,554.
    
    TAIWAN DOLLAR
    The Taiwan dollar rose on inflows from some foreign
financial institutions and higher local shares.
    Domestic importers bought U.S. dollars for payments on dips,
limiting gains in the island's currency.
    Exporters stayed on the sidelines, seeing the Taiwan
dollar's levels as pricey.
    
    WON
    The won rose on demand from exporters for settlements, while
traders stayed cautious before the U.S. jobs data.
    Investors also remained wary of possible intervention by the
foreign exchange authorities to keep the won weaker than 1,060
per dollar.
    Still, traders hesitated to build up short positions in the
South Korean currency after some investors had to scramble to
buy it to square positions on the yuan's rebound this week.
    "Some may want to add long dollar positions around 1,060,
but investors were not confident as they suffered stop-loss
selling in the previous session," said a foreign bank trader in
Seoul.
    
    CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
    Change on the day at 0430 GMT
  Currency    Latest bid   Previous day    Pct Move
  Japan yen       102.92         103.07       +0.15
  Sing dlr        1.2643         1.2631       -0.09
  Taiwan dlr      30.253         30.323       +0.23
  Korean won     1063.10        1064.10       +0.09
  Baht             32.27          32.30       +0.09
  Peso             44.46          44.54       +0.17
  Rupiah        11410.00       11465.00       +0.48
  Rupee            61.02          61.11       +0.15
  Ringgit         3.2600         3.2605       +0.02
  Yuan            6.1140         6.1185       +0.07
 
  Change so far in 2014
  Currency    Latest bid  End prev year    Pct Move
  Japan yen       102.92         105.28       +2.29
  Sing dlr        1.2643         1.2632       -0.09
  Taiwan dlr      30.253         29.950       -1.00
  Korean won     1063.10        1055.40       -0.72
  Baht             32.27          32.86       +1.83
  Peso             44.46          44.40       -0.15
  Rupiah        11410.00       12160.00       +6.57
  Rupee            61.02          61.80       +1.28
  Ringgit         3.2600         3.2755       +0.48
  Yuan            6.1140         6.0539       -0.98
 
 (Addtional reporting by KyungHo Lee in SEOUL and Lin Miao-jung
in TAIPEI; Editing by Chris Gallagher)

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