November 27, 2018 / 5:29 AM / 10 months ago

EM ASIA FX-Most Asian currencies lose ground as Trump tariff comments weigh

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Aby Jose Koilparambil
    Nov 27 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies weakened slightly
on Tuesday after U.S. President Donald Trump warned on the cusp
of a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping that tariffs on
goods imported from China were likely to be raised.
    Trump's comments soured the mood in Asian markets that have
been in a wait-and-see mode ahead of Trump's meeting with Xi  at
the G20 summit in Argentina starting on Friday.
    Trump's tough rhetoric bolstered support for safe haven
currencies with the dollar index, a gauge of its value
versus six major peers, keeping steady at 97.06 - near its
highest since Nov. 15.
    Most regional currency markets were negatively impacted by
the stronger greenback, as the dollar held gains it made on 
Trump's comments watering down hopes of a near-term trade truce
with China.
    Analysts at MIDF Amanah Investment Bank said every 1 percent
fall in U.S. demand for Chinese products would reduce economic
growth in China and globally by 0.72 percent and 0.71 percent
    The economies of Asian countries such as Taiwan, Hong Kong,
South Korea, Malaysia and Singapore could contract would be
affected in the range of 0.14 percent to 0.2 percent due to the
trade war, the MIDF analysts said. 
    The Indonesian rupiah fell by as much as 0.3 percent,
 while the Philippine peso, the Malaysian ringgit
and the Chinese yuan all weakened as much as 0.2
percent against the dollar.
    The Korean won also weakened, but in a narrower
range of up to 0.1 percent.
    "The latest bout of USD resilience... is borne out of market
nervousness and not from any renewed Fed hawkishness," OCBC Bank
analysts said in a note. 
    The Thai baht bucked the trend, firming as much as
0.2 percent.
    Thailand's manufacturing production index (MPI) rose 4.08
percent in October from a year earlier, beating the 2.8 percent
forecast by a Reuters poll.
     It was led by increased production of cars and car engines,
 air-conditioners and petroleum, the Industry Ministry said on
    Net oil importers such as India and Indonesia benefited from
a fall in prices on Tuesday in cautious trade ahead of the G20
gathering and next week's OPEC meeting in Austria.
    The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar at 0506 GMT.
 Currency                     Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
 Japan yen                    113.500     113.59        +0.08
 Sing dlr                     1.375       1.3753        +0.01
 Taiwan dlr                   30.879      30.886        +0.02
 Korean won                   1129.500    1128.9        -0.05
 Baht                         32.990      33.04         +0.15
 Peso                         52.485      52.35         -0.26
 Rupiah                       14481.000   14470         -0.08
 Rupee                        70.865      70.87         +0.01
 Ringgit                      4.192       4.186         -0.14
 Yuan                         6.946       6.9405        -0.07
 Change so far in 2018                                  
 Currency                     Latest bid  End 2017      Pct Move
 Japan yen                    113.500     112.67        -0.73
 Sing dlr                     1.375       1.3373        -2.75
 Taiwan dlr                   30.879      29.848        -3.34
 Korean won                   1129.500    1070.50       -5.22
 Baht                         32.990      32.58         -1.24
 Peso                         52.485      49.93         -4.87
 Rupiah                       14481.000   13565         -6.33
 Rupee                        70.865      63.87         -9.87
 Ringgit                      4.192       4.0440        -3.53
 Yuan                         6.946       6.5069        -6.31
 (Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru, editing by
Eric Meijer)
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