August 9, 2018 / 7:29 AM / a year ago

EM ASIA FX-Most Asian currencies climb, but Philippine peso drops

 (Adds detail, updates prices)
    By Devika Syamnath
    Aug 9 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies edged up on Thursday
taking cues from the yuan, though the Philippine peso fell on
disappointing economic growth data.
    The Philippine growth pace in the second quarter was the
lowest in nearly three years.
    China's consumer price index (CPI) rose 2.1 percent in July
from a year earlier, beating expectations but still within the
government's comfort zone of 3 percent.
    "Taken together with trade yesterday, (the China data)
implies the economy is doing a little bit better than people
thought," said Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at FX
provider AxiTrader.
    China on Wednesday reported that its July exports rose more
than expected, suggesting fresh U.S. tariffs imposed last month
have not yet had a significant impact on global demand for its
    The yuan was up 0.2 percent at 0611 GMT on
Thursday, helping bolster other emerging Asian currencies.
    South Korea's won climbed 0.2 percent to its
firmest in over a week, while the Indonesian rupiah also
touched its highest in more than a week, up 0.1 percent.
    Thailand's baht climbed 0.2 percent to its
strongest in two weeks and the Taiwan dollar was also
up 0.1 percent.  
    However, analysts said the firmer yuan against the U.S.
dollar may not last, with focus shifting to U.S. inflation data
for July due on Friday. 
    "If (U.S.) CPI is high and it increases expectations about
Fed timing then I would expect the current yuan stability to
prove ephemeral," said McKenna, referring to the timing of
possible interest rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve.
    The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against
a basket of six other major currencies, was up 0.1 percent.

    Philippine peso
    The Philippine peso weakened 0.3 percent following
the data on economic growth in the country.
    The peso has dropped nearly 6 percent so far this year,
making it the second-worst performer in the region behind the
Indian rupee.
    The country's central bank is due to meet later in the day
amid expectations of more policy tightening. 
    It raised its benchmark interest rate by 25
basis points in May and again in June, looking to tame inflation
and shore up the peso, which has been battered by concerns over
a widening current account deficit and capital outflows.

    The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar at 0547 GMT.
 Currency                     Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
 Japan yen                    110.980     110.97        -0.01
 Sing dlr                     1.363       1.3622        -0.03
 Taiwan dlr                   30.602      30.616        +0.05
 Korean won                   1117.500    1119.9        +0.21
 Baht                         33.160      33.21         +0.15
 Peso                         53.157      53.024        -0.25
 Rupiah                       14410.000   14430         +0.14
 Rupee                        68.605      68.62         +0.02
 Ringgit                      4.070       4.074         +0.10
 Yuan                         6.822       6.8318        +0.14
 Change so far in 2018                                  
 Currency                     Latest bid  End 2017      Pct Move
 Japan yen                    110.980     112.67        +1.52
 Sing dlr                     1.363       1.3373        -1.86
 Taiwan dlr                   30.602      29.848        -2.46
 Korean won                   1117.500    1070.50       -4.21
 Baht                         33.160      32.58         -1.75
 Peso                         53.157      49.977        -5.98
 Rupiah                       14410.000   13565         -5.86
 Rupee                        68.605      63.87         -6.90
 Ringgit                      4.070       4.0440        -0.64
 Yuan                         6.822       6.5069        -4.62

 (Reporting by Devika Syamnath in Bengaluru
Editing by Joseph Radford)
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