February 13, 2017 / 4:44 AM / 10 months ago

EM ASIA FX-Asian currencies slip after U.S.-Japan summit boosts dollar

    * Most EM Asian currencies edge lower versus dollar
    * Dollar holds firm after U.S.-Japan summit
    * But moves limited ahead of Yellen's testimony

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Masayuki Kitano
    SINGAPORE, Feb 13 (Reuters) - Most emerging Asian currencies
inched lower on Monday, as the dollar held firm after a closely
watched two-day U.S.-Japan summit over the weekend did not
unnerve markets by mentioning currency policy. 
    U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe appeared to have had a smooth meeting, allaying
investor worries Trump would talk tough on trade, currency and
security issues with a key Asian political ally.
    That outcome led to a rise in the dollar against the
Japanese yen and helped support the greenback against a
basket of six major currencies, with the dollar index
edging up around 0.2 percent.             
    Most emerging Asian currencies inched lower against the
greenback. Currencies such as the Singapore dollar and
South Korean won slipped 0.1 percent, while the
Philippine peso eased 0.2 percent. 
    The moves in emerging Asian currencies were mild, however,
as market participants await U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet
Yellen's testimony to Congress later this week, as well as
details on President Trump's tax reform plans, expected in the
next few weeks.
    "The market may remain in consolidation or range trade ahead
of the testimony of Yellen," said Gao Qi, EM Asia FX strategist
for Scotiabank in Singapore.
    "If Yellen sounds hawkish tomorrow evening then we could see
the dollar continue to rise and we will see, I think, a
relatively big impact on...emerging Asian currencies," he said.
    Yellen is due to speak about the U.S. economy and monetary
policy before the Senate Banking Committee on Feb. 14, and give
further testimony before the House Financial Services Committee
on Feb. 15.
    The dollar had gained against Asian currencies late last
week after Trump promised a "phenomenal" tax plan in a White
House meeting with airline executives on Thursday, renewing
investor hopes for reflationary U.S. fiscal policies.
    Still, given lingering uncertainty over the details of
Trump's tax plan, and whether it would be supported by Congress,
any gains in the dollar could be limited in the near term, said
Teppei Ino, an analyst for Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ in
Singapore.
    "Although the dollar index is back at the 100-level, I don't
get the sense that we will see an environment where we can
expect it to rise above 102," Ino said, referring to the outlook
for the dollar against a basket of six major currencies.

    CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
  Change on the day at   0356 GMT                     
  Currency               Latest bid   Previous     Pct
                                           day    Move
  Japan yen                  113.90     113.19   -0.62
  Sing dlr                   1.4238     1.4220   -0.13
  Taiwan dlr                 31.009     31.051   +0.14
  Korean won                1151.61    1150.60   -0.09
  Baht                        35.05      35.07   +0.05
  Peso                       49.945     49.860   -0.17
  Rupiah                      13327      13315   -0.09
  Rupee                       66.97      66.89   -0.13
  Ringgit                    4.4470     4.4420   -0.11
  Yuan                       6.8832     6.8775   -0.08
                                                      
  Change so far in 2017                               
  Currency               Latest bid   End prev     Pct
                                          year    Move
  Japan yen                  113.90     117.07   +2.78
  Sing dlr                   1.4238     1.4490   +1.77
  Taiwan dlr                 31.009     32.279   +4.10
  Korean won                1151.61    1207.70   +4.87
  Baht                        35.05      35.80   +2.14
  Peso                        49.95      49.72   -0.45
  Rupiah                      13327      13470   +1.07
  Rupee                       66.97      67.92   +1.41
  Ringgit                    4.4470     4.4845   +0.84
  Yuan                       6.8832     6.9467   +0.92
 
 (Reporting by Masayuki Kitano in Singapore; Editing by
Jacqueline Wong)
  
 
 

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