December 4, 2019 / 6:23 AM / 12 days ago

EM ASIA FX-Asian currencies fall on fears of trade war dragging on

    * Korean won extends losses to seventh straight session
    * Yuan, ringgit and rupee fall despite healthy economic
prints
    * Yuan touches over 1-month low

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Devika Syamnath
    Dec 4 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies weakened on
Wednesday, with the South Korean won falling the most, as
comments from U.S. President Donald Trump dashed bets of a
speedy resolution to Washington's drawn-out trade war with
Beijing.
    Trump said a trade deal with China might have to wait until
after the 2020 presidential election, knocking hopes that a
"phase 1" deal would be signed by Dec. 15, when additional
tariffs on Chinese goods are set to take effect.
    "Investors have become more desensitized to trade headlines
of late but given the extent to which trade optimism was running
towards the top end, the latest trade headlines are extremely
bitter pills for the market to swallow," Stephen Innes, Asia
Pacific market strategist at AxiTrader, said in a note.
    China, which stands to lose the most from a longer trade
war, saw its currency weaken for a third session and
touch a more than one-month low at one point in the session.
    Leading the declines in the region, the South Korean won
 fell 0.6% and was set for a seventh straight session
of losses.    
    The currency, which is already sensitive to trade headlines,
has seen risk sentiment sour further after neighbor North Korea
earlier this week accused the U.S. of trying to drag out
denuclearisation talks. 
    In contrast to the barrage of negative trade headlines, the
day's busy economic roster showed China service data hitting a
7-month high, Malaysian exports drop slower than expected and
India's dominant services sector rebounding to growth.

    "Economic green shoots are a budding theme to end 2019 and
may kickstart 2020 on a positive tone," OCBC said in a note.
    However, the positive prints did little to stave off caution
towards Asian currencies, with the Malaysian ringgit and
the Indian rupee down 0.1%, each. 
    
    THE PHILIPPINE PESO
    The Philippine peso was on firmer footing than its
peers, slightly higher ahead of annual inflation data on
Thursday.
     Inflation likely quickened for the first time in six months
in November but the expected number will be below the central
bank's comfort range for the year, a Reuters poll showed.

    The expected bounce led ING to posit in a note that the
country's central bank would hold rates at its Dec. 12 meeting.
    "The peso may benefit from a rebound in inflation and the
possible BSP pause as the dovish Governor closes shop for the
year," ING said in the note.

    
    The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar at 0545 GMT.
    CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
    
 Change on the day at 0545 GMT                    
 Currency               Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
 Japan yen              108.600     108.62        +0.02
 Sing dlr               1.364       1.3636        -0.06
 Taiwan dlr             30.501      30.507        +0.02
 Korean won             1194.700    1187.2        -0.63
 Baht                   30.280      30.271        -0.03
 Peso                   51.070      51.08         +0.02
 Rupiah                 14120.000   14100         -0.14
 Rupee                  71.730      71.67         -0.09
 Ringgit                4.179       4.173         -0.14
 Yuan                   7.068       7.0610        -0.10
                                                  
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Currency               Latest bid  End 2018      Pct Move
 Japan yen              108.600     109.56        +0.88
 Sing dlr               1.364       1.3627        -0.12
 Taiwan dlr             30.501      30.733        +0.76
 Korean won             1194.700    1115.70       -6.61
 Baht                   30.280      32.55         +7.50
 Peso                   51.070      52.47         +2.74
 Rupiah                 14120.000   14375         +1.81
 Rupee                  71.730      69.77         -2.73
 Ringgit                4.179       4.1300        -1.17
 Yuan                   7.068       6.8730        -2.76
 

 (Reporting by Devika Syamnath in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi
Aich)
  
 
 
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