November 20, 2019 / 6:03 AM / 23 days ago

EM ASIA FX-Asian currencies dip after U.S. Senate measure on Hong Kong rights

    * Philippine peso bucks trend with 0.2% rise
    * Markets take HK bill in their stride - analyst
    * FOMC minutes in focus, expected later in day

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Ambar Warrick
    Nov 20 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies slipped on
Wednesday as investors digested a measure by the U.S. Senate to
protect human rights in Hong Kong and China's condemnation
against the move, while Washington warned of fresh tariffs if a
deal is not reached with Beijing.
    However, most currencies did not mark large moves as usually
seen during trade ructions, indicating that many in the market
still believed an interim deal was likely.
    Caution ahead of the release of minutes from the U.S.
Federal Reserve's last policy meeting also kept trading ranges
    "While it has potentially complicated the U.S.-China phase-1
deal negotiations, at this stage, it doesn't look like it's in
danger of derailing it," said Khoon Goh, head of Asia research
at ANZ Banking Group (Singapore), referring to the U.S. Senate's
    "Markets have taken the HK bill passage in their stride...
(they've) pretty much thoroughly priced in a successful deal, so
now they really need to see evidence that this is going to go
    The Chinese yuan inched lower against the dollar,
following a slightly weaker-than-expected midpoint fix. 
    China's main lending rate benchmark, which is set by banks,
fell for the third time since August following cuts in the
central bank's short- and medium-term lending rates.
    The People's Bank of China has been easing lending rates in
order to shore up liquidity and spur economic growth.
    The South Korean won fell about 0.2% to the
dollar, while the Indian rupee was largely flat. 
    The Philippine peso was among the few outliers for
the day, rising about 0.2% after two days of sharp declines.
    Recently, the International Monetary Fund upgraded the
country's 2020 growth forecast, saying the government had room
to strengthen expansionary measures.
    Philippine lawmakers on Monday approved a bill extending the
life of the 2019 budget up to the end of next year, allowing the
government to fund priority projects. 
    The Thai baht rose slightly, touching its strongest
level against the dollar in more than two weeks. 
    ANZ's Goh said the baht remained attractive because of
Thailand's large current account surplus, and that it was
unlikely to weaken in the near term. 
   The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar on Wednesday.
 Change on the day at   0517 GMT                  
 Currency               Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
 Japan yen              108.490     108.53        +0.04
 Sing dlr               1.361       1.3607        -0.03
 Taiwan dlr             30.469      30.509        +0.13
 Korean won             1170.300    1167.6        -0.23
 Baht                   30.180      30.205        +0.08
 Peso                   50.890      50.99         +0.20
 Rupiah                 14095.000   14085         -0.07
 Rupee                  71.700      71.71         +0.01
 Ringgit                4.157       4.156         -0.02
 Yuan                   7.031       7.0272        -0.05
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Currency               Latest bid  End 2018      Pct Move
 Japan yen              108.490     109.56        +0.99
 Sing dlr               1.361       1.3627        +0.12
 Taiwan dlr             30.469      30.733        +0.87
 Korean won             1170.300    1115.70       -4.67
 Baht                   30.180      32.55         +7.85
 Peso                   50.890      52.47         +3.10
 Rupiah                 14095.000   14375         +1.99
 Rupee                  71.700      69.77         -2.69
 Ringgit                4.157       4.1300        -0.65
 Yuan                   7.031       6.8730        -2.24
 (Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu
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