May 6, 2014 / 4:57 AM / 3 years ago

EM ASIA FX-Yuan rebound supports Asia FX, peso near 4-week high after CPI

* Philippine April CPI up, reserve requirement hike seen
    * Taiwan dollar gains on inflows, exporters

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Jongwoo Cheon
    SINGAPORE, May 6 (Reuters) - Most emerging Asian currencies
edged up on Tuesday as the Chinese yuan extended gains and on
further signs of recovery in the U.S. economy, while trading
remained subdued with some markets still closed for holidays.
    The Philippine peso hit a near four-week high as
the country's inflation in April accelerated slightly faster
than expected with analysts expecting a second reserve
requirement hike at this week's central bank policy meeting.
 
    The Taiwan dollar gained on capital inflows and
demand from exporters.
    Spot yuan hit a two-week high in the local
currency market, defying the central bank's weaker fixing, as
investors saw little room for further depreciation in the
renminbi. 
    Growth in the U.S. services sector accelerated in April,
rising at the fastest pace in eight months, brightening the
outlook for Asia's major export market. 
    "It appears to be a fairly constructive outlook for Asian
currencies in the near term," Scotiabank said in a client note.
    "We feel that MYR, KRW and PHP should certainly benefit, and
believe that there is definite value in being long CNH at
current levels considering that the market seems resistive to
pushing too far past 6.25 in the topside in USD/CNH."
    Offshore spot yuan rose as much as 0.2 percent to
6.2320 per dollar, its strongest since April 22.
    Emerging Asian currencies tend to track the yuan's moves,
given the region's heavy dependence on China.
    
    TAIWAN DOLLAR
    The Taiwan dollar slightly gained in thin trading on inflows
from foreign financial institutions and small demand from local
exporters for settlements.
    Some traders said the Taiwan dollar may find further support
if the yuan strengthens to 6.2000 to the U.S. dollar.
    Still, the island's currency did not find clear direction
with some other financial markets closed.
    Importers bought the U.S. dollar for payments, while some
foreign institutions took profits from the Taiwan dollar,
traders said.
    
    PHILIPPINE PESO
    The Philippine peso advanced as much as 0.2 percent to 44.33
per dollar, its strongest since April 11, on capital inflows and
remittances from overseas Filipino workers.
    The central bank governor said it is ready to adjust its
monetary policy if it sees its inflation target at risk or
financial stability issues arise from strong liquidity growth.
 
    The comments came ahead of a monetary policy meeting on
Thursday, when the central bank is widely expected to keep its
overnight borrowing rate steady at a record low of 3.5 percent.
 
    A senior Philippine bank trader, however, said the peso was
unlikely to strengthen past 44.30, adding that investors
appeared to be holding some bullish positions to clear.
    
    CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
    Change on the day at 0430 GMT
  Currency    Latest bid   Previous day    Pct Move
 *Japan yen       102.01         102.14       +0.13
  Sing dlr        1.2507         1.2504       -0.02
  Taiwan dlr      30.125         30.171       +0.15
 *Korean won     1029.50        1030.30       +0.08
  Baht             32.37          32.37       +0.00
  Peso             44.37          44.40       +0.07
  Rupiah        11520.00       11515.00       -0.04
  Rupee            60.19          60.21       +0.03
  Ringgit         3.2570         3.2555       -0.05
  Yuan            6.2330         6.2455       +0.20
 
  Change so far in 2014
  Currency    Latest bid  End prev year    Pct Move
  Japan yen       102.01         105.28       +3.20
  Sing dlr        1.2507         1.2632       +1.00
  Taiwan dlr      30.125         29.950       -0.58
  Korean won     1029.50        1055.40       +2.52
  Baht             32.37          32.86       +1.51
  Peso             44.37          44.40       +0.06
  Rupiah        11520.00       12160.00       +5.56
  Rupee            60.19          61.80       +2.67
  Ringgit         3.2570         3.2755       +0.57
  Yuan            6.2330         6.0539       -2.87
   * Financial markets in Japan and South Korea are closed for a
holiday.

 (Additional reporting by Miao-jung Line in TAIPEI; Editing by
Jacqueline Wong)

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