February 9, 2017 / 8:49 AM / a year ago

EM ASIA FX-Rupiah hits 4-week high after Moody's upgrades Indonesia view

    * Rupiah clings to gains after setting 4-week high vs dollar
    * Moody's upgraded Indonesia's credit outlook to positive
    * Asian currencies generally firmer vs dollar

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    SINGAPORE, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies edged
higher against the dollar on Thursday, with the rupiah touching
a four-week high after Moody's Investors Service upgraded
Indonesia's credit rating outlook to "positive" from "stable".
    Earlier in the session, the rupiah touched 13,280 per
dollar, its strongest level since Jan. 12. It ended 0.1 percent
higher at 13,310. 
    The outlook upgrade by Moody's late on Wednesday follows a
similar move by Fitch in December.
    "On a standalone basis, the shift in Moody's outlook may not
be of much impact given that they already have Indonesia's
credit rated above investment grade," analysts at Citi said in a
research note.
    "Some investors may see this as increasing the probability
of a rating upgrade by S&P... That may encourage better
sentiment," the analysts added.
    S&P is the only major global ratings agency that still rates
debt of Southeast Asia's largest economy below investment grade,
but analysts think it may soon join in. Some major institutional
investors require investment grade ratings from all three
agencies to buy a country's debt.
    Most other Asian currencies edged higher against the dollar.
    China's yuan firmed against the dollar as sliding U.S. bond
yields weighed on the greenback, although traders said talk of
further falls in the Chinese currency may intensify over the
short term.
    The South Korean won also eked out gains, although it traded
in a narrow range as investors took a cautious stance ahead of a
meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Japan's Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe coming up on Friday.
    Friday's summit between Trump and Abe could have a
significant influence on Japan's yen, sending ripples to other
Asian currencies such as the won.
    Overall, market participants seem cautious toward buying the
dollar at this point as they seek further details on Trump's
pro-growth fiscal policies, said Stephen Innes, senior trader
for FX broker OANDA in Singapore.
    In the meantime, investors seem to be putting money back
into Asian assets, he said.
    "Investors can't just sit back and wait," Innes added.
  Change on the day at 0753 GMT                          
  Currency               Latest bid   Previous   Pct Move
  Japan yen                  112.36     111.93      -0.38
  Sing dlr                   1.4166     1.4168      +0.01
  Taiwan dlr                 31.041     31.128      +0.28
  Korean won                1145.71    1147.20      +0.13
  Baht                        35.01      35.05      +0.11
  Peso                       49.910     49.870      -0.08
  Rupiah                      13310      13320      +0.08
  Rupee                       67.03      67.19      +0.24
  Ringgit                    4.4370     4.4370      +0.00
  Yuan                       6.8655     6.8715      +0.09
  Change so                                              
 far in 2017                                    
  Currency               Latest bid   End prev   Pct Move
  Japan yen                  112.36     117.07      +4.19
  Sing dlr                   1.4166     1.4490      +2.29
  Taiwan dlr                 31.041     32.279      +3.99
  Korean won                1145.71    1207.70      +5.41
  Baht                        35.01      35.80      +2.27
  Peso                        49.91      49.72      -0.38
  Rupiah                      13310      13470      +1.20
  Rupee                       67.03      67.92      +1.33
  Ringgit                    4.4370     4.4845      +1.07
  Yuan                       6.8655     6.9467      +1.18

 (Reporting by Masayuki Kitano; Additional reporting by Dahee
Kim in SEOUL, Winni Zhou and John Ruwitch in SHANGHAI; Editing
by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
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