October 17, 2017 / 4:47 AM / a year ago

EM ASIA FX-Asian currencies dip on Fed speculation, peso rises

    * Chinese yuan at 1-week low against dollar
    * Philippine peso, Japanese yen sole gainers

 (Adds details, updates numbers)
    By Ambar Warrick
    Oct 17 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies retreated against
the dollar on Tuesday as the greenback strengthened following a
report that U.S. President Donald Trump was favouring a policy
hawk as the next head of the Federal Reserve.
    The dollar rose against a basket of currencies,
supported by a rise in Treasury yields after Bloomberg reported
that President Trump was favouring Stanford economist John
Taylor, seen as more hawkish than current Chair Janet Yellen, to
head the U.S. central bank.
    "I think the implication is that it would be positive for
the U.S. dollar rather than negative for Asian currencies per
se. If you look at Asian currencies today, they're reflecting
the possibility of a stronger dollar if John Taylor becomes the
FOMC chair, as among all the candidates I think Taylor is the
most hawkish," said Sim Moh Siong, FX strategist at Bank of
    A hawkish Fed could prompt investors to shift into U.S.
assets on the prospect of better yields, triggering capital
outflows from emerging markets. 
    The Chinese yuan dipped to a 1-week low against
the dollar. The currency is expected to remain subdued in the
near term, with investors cautious ahead of a key leadership
meeting and other economic data due later in the week.
    "While big political decisions are being made, the Chinese
economy appears to remain robust, evidenced by recent solid
trade and CPI data, as Beijing's latitude to allow policy to
engineer a "soft landing" remains intact," Mizuho Bank said in a
research note.
    The Korean won also edged down against the
dollar. Tensions over the Korean peninsula persisted, as South
Korea and the United States began week-long joint navy drills in
the waters around the Korean peninsula on Monday, amid high
tensions over North Korea's nuclear and missile programme.

    The Singapore dollar fell against the dollar. The
island state's non-oil domestic exports in September fell
unexpectedly from a year earlier, due to a contraction in
electronic shipments.
    The Philippine peso rose to a 1-week high against
the dollar on Tuesday in stark contrast to weakness in other
Asian currencies.
    "I think the rise today could be due to the remittance
numbers for August, which were higher than expected," said
Saktiandi Supaat, head of FX research at Maybank in Singapore.
    Remittances in the Philippines rose to a 5-month high in
August. The country is one of the world's largest recipients of
remittances, with millions of Filipinos working overseas sending
home money that helps power domestic consumption, a key driver
of economic growth.
    The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar at 0139 GMT.
 CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR                                      
    Change on the day at                                        
          0419 GMT                                      
  Currency                    Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
  Japan yen                   112.080           112.18     +0.09
  Sing dlr                    1.355             1.3510     -0.30
  Taiwan dlr                  30.180            30.158     -0.07
  Korean won                  1131.700          1127.8     -0.34
  Baht                        33.080             33.06     -0.06
  Peso                        51.300             51.39     +0.18
  Rupiah                      13492.000          13480     -0.09
  Rupee                       64.893             64.74     -0.24
  Ringgit                     4.222             4.2155     -0.14
  Yuan                        6.602             6.5890     -0.20
  Change so far in 2017                                         
  Currency                    Latest bid  End 2016      Pct Move
  Japan yen                   112.080           117.07     +4.45
  Sing dlr                    1.355             1.4490     +6.94
  Taiwan dlr                  30.180            32.279     +6.95
  Korean won                  1131.700         1207.70     +6.72
  Baht                        33.080             35.80     +8.22
  Peso                        51.300             49.72     -3.08
  Rupiah                      13492.000          13470     -0.16
  Rupee                       64.893             67.92     +4.67
  Ringgit                     4.222             4.4845     +6.23
  Yuan                        6.602             6.9467     +5.22

 (Editing by Jacqueline Wong)
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