October 8, 2019 / 7:51 AM / 8 days ago

Most Asian currencies firm ahead of Sino-U.S. trade talks

(Reuters) - Most Asian currencies edged higher on Tuesday with the Chinese yuan firming the most after reopening from a week long holiday while investors held positions ahead of the high level Sino-U.S. trade talks on Thursday and Friday.

FILE PHOTO: Euro, Hong Kong dollar, U.S. dollar, Japanese yen, British pound and Chinese yuan banknotes are seen in this picture illustration, January 21, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Lee/Illustration

Prospects for progress in U.S.-China trade talks dimmed on Monday after Washington blacklisted Chinese companies but comments by U.S. President Donald Trump and his top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow on looming trade talks were generally upbeat.

“We think there’s a chance we could do something very substantial,” Trump said about the talks.

This comes after a media report stated that China is looking to narrow the scope of the talks.

“China is realistic and would only target issues that both countries have agreed on this week,” a DBS note said. However, sentiment seemed buoyed on hopes of a partial deal despite Washington’s move to blacklist Chinese companies.

The Chinese yuan CNY=CFXS reopened after a week long holiday to strengthen 0.3%.

“Hopes have emerged on trade talks, inspired by reports that Beijing is preparing to work through tough negotiations with the U.S., setting a time-line for the thorny issues,” Vishnu Varathan, senior economist at Mizuho Bank said in a note.

The Philippine peso PHP= firmed 0.3% against the dollar, clawing back some of the losses from the previous session. The peso had weakened 0.4% on Monday amid caution ahead of the trade talks.

The Taiwan dollar TWD=TP strengthened 0.3%. Data showed that the island's equity markets received about $2.9 billion of foreign investment in September, on optimism over its economy, as a growing number of local firms were shifting their factories to Taiwan from mainland China.

The South Korean won KRW=KFTC firmed 0.2% after better than expected third quarter forecast from the world's biggest semiconductor firm, Samsung Electronics (005930.KS), reduced concerns over South Korea's exports.

Meanwhile, the Thai Baht THB=TH bucked the trend to weaken about 0.1%. The baht has shown resilience by strengthening by the most among Asian units so far this year.

Indian financial markets were closed for a holiday.

Reporting by Shreya Mariam Job in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

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