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EM ASIA FX-Won rises on upbeat data; rupee, baht hit highest since 2015
April 3, 2017 / 5:20 AM / 8 months ago

EM ASIA FX-Won rises on upbeat data; rupee, baht hit highest since 2015

    * Won rises after S.Korean exports exceed forecasts
    * Baht touches highest since July 2015
    * Rupee strongest since October 2015

 (Updates prices, adds text)
    April 3 (Reuters) - Asian currencies edged higher on Monday,
as upbeat South Korean trade numbers lifted the won, while the
Indian rupee and Thai baht rose to their strongest levels since
    The won rose 0.5 percent against the greenback, leading the
gains among emerging Asian currencies, after data showed that
South Korea's exports grew more than expected in March thanks to
stronger global demand.
    Underscoring the generally firm tone in Asian currencies,
the Thai baht touched its highest level in more than 20
months at around 34.285 per dollar. 
    "What is most important for Asian currencies right now is
that economic conditions in Asia are stable," said Masashi
Murata, currency strategist for Brown Brothers Harriman in
    Solid economic fundamentals in the form of surpluses in
trade balances and current account balances are helping support
Asian currencies such as the won and Thai baht, Murata added. 
    The gains in Asian currencies came in the wake of the
dollar's retreat from a two-week high set against a basket of
major currencies on Friday. The dollar index last stood at
100.41, trading below Friday's peak of 100.65.
    New York Fed President William Dudley said on Friday the Fed
 could begin trimming bond portfolio this year - earlier than
many economists expect - but also said that it was in no rush to
tighten monetary policy.
    U.S. economic data released on Friday was mixed. Consumer
spending barely rose in February amid delays in the payment of
income tax refunds, but inflation marked its biggest annual
increase in nearly five years.
    The Indian rupee hit its highest level in nearly 1-1/2 years
in the wake of strong foreign buying in domestic markets.

    The rupee touched a high of 64.765 per dollar at
one point, its strongest level since October 2015, while India's
NSE stock index hit a record high earlier in the
    India's central bank said on Friday that it would increase
foreign investment limits in government bonds and state
development loans for the April-June quarter by 110 billion
rupees ($1.7 billion) and 60 billion rupees, respectively.

    *China, Taiwan markets are closed for holiday on Monday and
  Change on the day at   0455 GMT                    
  Currency              Latest bid   Previous     Pct
                                          day    Move
  Japan yen                 111.35     111.40   +0.04
  Sing dlr                  1.3959     1.3968   +0.06
  Taiwan dlr                30.336     30.336   +0.00
  Korean won               1113.10    1118.40   +0.48
  Baht                       34.30      34.35   +0.13
  Peso                      50.140     50.160   +0.04
  Rupiah                     13318      13323   +0.04
  Rupee                      64.78      64.86   +0.12
  Ringgit                   4.4240     4.4240   +0.00
  Yuan                      6.8835     6.8835   -0.00
  Change so                                          
 far in 2017                                   
  Currency              Latest bid   End prev     Pct
                                         year    Move
  Japan yen                 111.35     117.07   +5.14
  Sing dlr                  1.3959     1.4490   +3.80
  Taiwan dlr                30.336     32.279   +6.40
  Korean won               1113.10    1207.70   +8.50
  Baht                       34.30      35.80   +4.37
  Peso                       50.14      49.72   -0.84
  Rupiah                     13318      13470   +1.14
  Rupee                      64.78      67.92   +4.86
  Ringgit                   4.4240     4.4845   +1.37
  Yuan                      6.8835     6.9467   +0.92
 (Reporting by Masayuki Kitano, additional reporting by Dahee
Kim in Seoul, Tanvi Mehta in Bengaluru; Editing by Vyas Mohan)

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