June 3, 2014 / 4:57 AM / 3 years ago

EM ASIA FX-Thai economic plan optimism lifts baht; rupiah down further

* Thai consumer confidence in May improves post-coup
    * Foreigners turn net buyers in Thai stocks on Monday
    * Baht long-term outlook still in doubt

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Jongwoo Cheon
    SINGAPORE, June 3 (Reuters) - The Thai baht snapped a
five-session losing streak on Tuesday, leading gains among
emerging Asian currencies, on hopes over  upcoming economic
reforms by the military government.
    The Indonesian rupiah, however, failed to ride on
the overall appreciation in regional currencies, hitting its
weakest in more than three months after the country on Monday
reported a large trade deficit in April.
    The baht rose 0.6 percent to 32.71 per dollar as of
0415 GMT as the military government running Thailand has drawn
up a list of emergency steps such as approvals of pending
investment projects to support the economy. 
    Consumer confidence in May also improved, while Moody's
Investors Service on Monday affirmed the country's Baa1 credit
rating with a stable outlook.  
    Local investors were lined up to buy the baht on dips,
anticipating demand from offshore funds as Bangkok stocks
 extended gains.
    "The junta's quick focus on the economy and preparation for
emergency economic measures could have restored investor
confidence somewhat," said Maybank in a note to clients.
    On Monday, foreign investors turned net buyers in Thailand's
stock market for the first time since May 20 when the army
introduced martial law, according to Thomson Reuters data.
    Such signs of a resumption in foreign buying may further
support the baht, but analysts expect the currency to stay under
pressure due to a lack of long-term solutions to quell political
instability.
    The junta's economic reform plan will provide potential for
more strength in the baht in the near term but it is not a "game
changer", said Jonathan Cavenagh, senior FX strategist with
Westpac in Singapore.
    "We may fall back to 32.65-60 in dollar/baht but don't
expect to fall much below this level," Cavenagh said.
    Fresh elections and a clear path towards a more stable
government and outlook could be attractive to foreign investors,
he added.
    
    RUPIAH
    The rupiah fell as much as 0.6 percent to 11,825
per dollar, its weakest since Feb. 20, tracking the weakness in
overnight non-deliverable forwards markets.
    Technically, the Indonesian currency is likely to weaken to
11,883, the 61.8 percent Fibonacci retracement of its
appreciation between December and March, analysts said.
    The official Jakarta Interbank Spot Dollar Rate, which
Indonesia's central bank launched last year in an effort to
manage exchange rate fluctuations, was fixed at 11,806 per
dollar, weaker than the previous day's 11,740.
    Sliding exports pushed Indonesia's trade balance into its
second biggest monthly deficit in five years in April, renewing
concerns over the worst performing emerging Asian currency last
year. 
    
    CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
    Change on the day at 0415 GMT
  Currency    Latest bid   Previous day    Pct Move
  Japan yen       102.38         102.38       -0.00
  Sing dlr        1.2554         1.2569       +0.12
  Taiwan dlr      30.000         30.050       +0.17
  Korean won     1023.80        1024.10       +0.03
  Baht             32.71          32.89       +0.57
  Peso             43.79          43.80       +0.02
  Rupiah        11800.00       11760.00       -0.34
  Rupee            59.13          59.15       +0.04
  Ringgit         3.2270         3.2273       +0.01
  Yuan            6.2462         6.2473       +0.02
 
  Change so far in 2014
  Currency    Latest bid  End prev year    Pct Move
  Japan yen       102.38         105.28       +2.83
  Sing dlr        1.2554         1.2632       +0.62
  Taiwan dlr      30.000         29.950       -0.17
  Korean won     1023.80        1055.40       +3.09
  Baht             32.71          32.86       +0.47
  Peso             43.79          44.40       +1.38
  Rupiah        11800.00       12160.00       +3.05
  Rupee            59.13          61.80       +4.52
  Ringgit         3.2270         3.2755       +1.50
  Yuan            6.2462         6.0539       -3.08
    

 (Additional reporting by Satawasin Staporncharnchai in BANGKOK;
Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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