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EM ASIA FX-Most Asian currencies firm on dollar weakness, trade hopes

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Patturaja  Murugaboopathy 
    Oct 17 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies strengthened on
Thursday due to overnight weakness in dollar after a fall in
U.S. retail sales, while  lingering hopes of a Sino-U.S. trade
deal also lent support to the export-reliant regional units. 
    The Taiwanese dollar led the gains in the region,
followed by the South Korean won and the Malaysian
    "We still see some net risk-on sentiment supporting the
Asian currencies in general. We have positive news coming out
from Brexit. And in Asia, regarding the Sino-U.S. trade
situation, it is still very much on the holding pattern," said
Terence Wu, a currency strategist at OCBC Bank. 
    "Even though people are starting to reach some suspicions
over whether a deal will be signed eventually in the APAC
meeting, at this point there are no clear signals that it is
breaking up."
    The dollar index was trading flat at 98.005, hovering
 near a four-week low of 97.898 it touched in the previous
     Analysts said regional currencies also firmed on rising
expectations on an interest rate cut by the U.S. Federal Reserve
this month. The bets further strengthened after data released on
Wednesday showed U.S. retail sales falling for the first time
seven months in September.  
    Indian rupee and the Indonesian rupiah,the
two high yielding currencies, also strengthened on the day due
to a sharp fall in U.S. bond yields.
    On the other hand, China's yuan edged lower
against the U.S. dollar after the central bank set a weaker
daily reference rate for the currency.
    The Indian rupee rose 0.16% against the dollar on
Thursday helped by weaker oil prices, lower U.S. bond yields and
strong domestic equities.
    However, some analysts said falling real yields of Indian
bonds could affect the rupee, along with other concerns such as
fiscal deficit and lower liquidity in the banking system.
    India's real yields have fallen nearly 200 basis points
since the start of this year, according to Refinitiv data. Real
yields are nominal yields adjusted for inflation.
    "Rupee could suffer the double whammy of growth dent as well
as pressures from capital pulling out of equities in response to
downbeat growth prospects," said Vishnu Varathan, head of
economics and strategy for Mizuho Bank in Singapore in a note.
    The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar at 0513 GMT.
   Change on the day                          
    at   0513 GMT                       
  Currency             Latest  Previou     Pct
                          bid    s day    Move
  Japan yen            108.75   108.75   +0.00
  Sing dlr             1.369    1.3700   +0.11
  Taiwan dlr           30.664   30.722   +0.19
  Korean won           1186.4   1187.8   +0.12
  Baht                 30.365    30.39   +0.08
  Peso                 51.420    51.51   +0.18
  Rupiah               14160.    14164   +0.03
  Rupee                71.400    71.44   +0.05
  Ringgit              4.186    4.1935   +0.18
  Yuan                 7.098    7.0950   -0.04
  Change so far in                            
  Currency             Latest  End         Pct
                       bid     2018       Move
  Japan yen            108.75   109.56   +0.74
  Sing dlr             1.369    1.3627   -0.42
  Taiwan dlr           30.664   30.733   +0.23
  Korean won           1186.4  1115.70   -5.96
  Baht                 30.365    32.55   +7.20
  Peso                 51.420    52.47   +2.04
  Rupiah               14160.    14375   +1.52
  Rupee                71.400    69.77   -2.28
  Ringgit              4.186    4.1300   -1.34
  Yuan                 7.098    6.8730   -3.17
 (Reporting By Patturaja Murugaboopathy; Editing by Rashmi Aich)