August 10, 2017 / 5:58 AM / a year ago

EM ASIA FX-Korean won falls to 4-week low as North Korea tensions persist

    By Hanna Paul
    Aug 10 (Reuters) - The Korean won weakened significantly
again and nearly all emerging Asian currencies were soft on
Thursday amid simmering tensions between North Korea and the
United States.
     The North Korean state media, describing President Donald
Trump's warning of "fire and fury" as  a "load of nonsense" 
said they aim to develop a plan by mid-August to launch four
missiles at the U.S. territory of Guam.
    Mizuho Bank, in a note, said that tensions "showing no signs
of easing" after North Korea statement on Guam, said "we think
Korean assets could remain under pressure in the near-term".," 
    The Korean won slipped as much as 0.8 percent
against the dollar to levels unseen since July 12. On Wednesday,
it shed 0.9 percent 
    The Taiwan dollar on Thursday fell 0.3 percent,
putting it on track for its worst day in more than three weeks.
    The yen, which gained 0.2 percent on Wednesday, edged
up marginally as demand for it as a safe-haven -  which can
increased when geopolitical anxiety rises - tapered off.
    The dollar remained steady against a basket of six
    The Indonesian rupiah slipped by about 0.1 percent to
its lowest in over 4 weeks. On Tuesday, disappointing
second-quarter growth data was announced, and on Wednesday, the
government reported that June retail sales grew at less than
half the pace of a year earlier.  
    The Philippine peso, which has weakened the past
three days, dipped 0.3 percent to its lowest in over 2 weeks.
    The trade deficit narrowed in June from the previous month
and imports fell 2.5 percent from a year earlier.
    The Philippine central bank is expected to stand pat on
interest rates in its policy meeting later on Thursday, 
according to a Reuters poll.
    The Chinese yuan was up marginally after the
central bank set the yuan midpoint at 6.6770 to the dollar, the
highest level 10-1/2 months.
    The currency has strengthened against the dollar the past
three days.
    "Yuan is expected to remain relatively steady or strong
compared to regional peers," Scotiabank said in a note on
    The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar at 0459 GMT.

    Change as at 0459
  Currency                  Latest   Previous     Pct
                               bid        day    Move
  Japan yen              110.000       110.06   +0.05
  Sing dlr               1.364         1.3634   -0.07
  Taiwan dlr             30.314        30.218   -0.32
  Korean won             1144.000      1135.2   -0.77
  Baht                   33.264         33.24   -0.07
  Peso                   50.710        50.575   -0.27
  Rupiah                 13342.000      13332   -0.07
  Rupee                  63.990         63.83   -0.25
  Ringgit                4.292          4.287   -0.12
  Yuan                   6.671         6.6745   +0.05
  Change so far in 2017                              
  Currency               Latest     End 2016      Pct
                         bid                     Move
  Japan yen              110.000       117.07   +6.43
  Sing dlr               1.364         1.4490   +6.20
  Taiwan dlr             30.314        32.279   +6.48
  Korean won             1144.000     1207.70   +5.57
  Baht                   33.264         35.80   +7.62
  Peso                   50.710         49.72   -1.95
  Rupiah                 13342.000      13470   +0.96
  Rupee                  63.990         67.92   +6.14
  Ringgit                4.292         4.4845   +4.49
  Yuan                   6.671         6.9467   +4.13
 (Reporting by Hanna Paul; Editing by Richard Borsuk)
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