January 12, 2017 / 4:42 AM / a year ago

EM ASIA FX-Asia FX rise after Trump offers little clarity on fiscal plans

* Thai baht rises to its highest in nearly 2 months
    * Asia FX stronger in the wake of Trump's news conference
    * Dollar slips after Trump offers no fiscal policy details

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    SINGAPORE, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Asian currencies rose broadly
on Thursday in the wake of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's
news conference, which offered little clarity on his future
fiscal policies and disappointed dollar bulls. 
    The Thai baht climbed to around 35.30  at
one point, its strongest since mid-November. Traders said the
baht rose due to short-covering, and was also supported by
inflows into Thai equities. 
    Most other Asian currencies rose, including the onshore
Chinese yuan, which gained 0.4 percent. The South
Korean won climbed 1.3 percent. 
    Trump, who takes office on Jan. 20, did not elaborate on his
pro-growth policies in a news conference on Wednesday, providing
no details on tax cuts and infrastructure spending. 
    Emerging Asian currencies could stay firm in the near term,
given the possibility of further liquidation of long dollar
positions, said Satoshi Okagawa, senior global markets analyst
for Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation in Singapore.
    This is especially the case since many emerging Asian
currencies have relatively higher interest rates compared with
the dollar, he said.
    "Keeping long positions in the dollar against emerging
market currencies or Asian currencies comes with a cost,"
Okagawa said, adding that this can make it harder to stick with
such bets if the chances of the dollar rising in the near term
seem low.
    Asian currencies had retreated broadly after Trump's
election win on Nov. 8, as U.S. bond yields jumped on
expectations that Trump's proposals for infrastructure spending
and tax cuts would prop up U.S. economic growth and inflation.
    Emerging Asian currencies have regained some ground this
month, after a short-covering rally in the offshore Chinese yuan
triggered some scaling back of bullish bets on the dollar.

  Change on the day at   0420 GMT                     
  Currency              Latest bid   Previous      Pct
                                          day     Move
  Japan yen                 114.49     115.41    +0.80
  Sing dlr                  1.4277     1.4267    -0.07
  Taiwan dlr                31.730     31.935    +0.65
  Korean won               1181.00    1196.40    +1.30
  Baht                       35.35      35.56    +0.60
  Peso                      49.530     49.625    +0.19
  Rupiah                     13288      13328    +0.30
  Rupee                      68.10      68.33    +0.35
  Ringgit                   4.4600     4.4700    +0.22
  Yuan                      6.9117     6.9360    +0.35
  Change so                                           
 far in 2017                                   
  Currency              Latest bid   End prev      Pct
                                         year     Move
  Japan yen                 114.49     117.07    +2.25
  Sing dlr                  1.4277     1.4490    +1.49
  Taiwan dlr                31.730     32.279    +1.73
  Korean won               1181.00    1207.70    +2.26
  Baht                       35.35      35.80    +1.29
  Peso                       49.53      49.72    +0.38
  Rupiah                     13288      13470    +1.37
  Rupee                      68.10      67.92    -0.26
  Ringgit                   4.4600     4.4845    +0.55
  Yuan                      6.9117     6.9467    +0.51

 (Reporting by Masayuki Kitano; Additional reporting by
Satawasin Staporncharnchai in BANGKOK, IFR Markets' Catherine
Tan; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)
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