May 9, 2018 / 6:24 AM / a year ago

EM ASIA FX-Asian currencies hit by rising oil prices as US quits Iran deal

    * Indian rupee hits 15 month low
    * Indonesian rupiah at 14,085 against dollar

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Susan Mathew
    May 9 (Reuters) - Asian currencies declined on Wednesday as
sentiment was hit after U.S. President Donald trump pulled the
country out of an international nuclear deal with Iran,
triggering a rally in oil prices in a negative sign for net oil
importers in the region.
    Oil prices rose more than 2 percent to over a three-year
high at $76.65 per barrel, as Trump's move is seen as likely
curbing OPEC-member's crude exports in an already tight market.
Iran is the third biggest exporter of crude within OPEC.
     The United States plans to impose new unilateral sanctions
after abandoning the agreement, which limited Iran's nuclear
ambitions in exchange for removing joint U.S.-Europe sanctions.

    Currencies of Asian nations that are net importers of oil
such as the Indian rupee, Indonesian rupiah and the Philippine
peso, were down between 0.1 and 0.4 percent.
    The rise in U.S. Treasury yields on safe-haven buying also
saw interest moving away from Asia currencies. The 10-year
Treasury yield hit a weekly high of 2.987 percent.

    There was no noticeable impact on the Philippine peso
from data on Wednesday showing the trade deficit for March
narrowed as imports slowed. Exports for the month declined 8.2
percent from a year ago.
    "The decline in trade deficit was on account of drop in
exports," said Manny Cruz, analyst at Asiasec Equities Inc,
adding that the Philippine economy is not highly dependent on
    Indonesian rupiah extended losses to a third day to
14,085 against the dollar, hitting near 2-1/2 year lows. The
Thai baht led losses in the region with a 0.6 percent
drop - the biggest daily loss in four months.
    Financial markets in Malaysia were closed on Wednesday for
the country's general elections which pits current Prime
Minister Najib Razak against his mentor Mahathir Mohamad
    The election results are due later in the day, and analysts
expect the ringgit to be hit by anything other than a win by the
ruling Barisan Nasional Alliance. 
    The Indian rupee fell to 67.42 against the dollar
on Wednesday, its lowest since February 2017, declining 0.4
    Investors will be awaiting results for Saturday's election
in the state of Karnataka expected next week. 
    Karnataka state, home to India's Silicon Valley capital of
Bengaluru, is the first big state electing an assembly this year
to be followed by three others in the final test of popularity
for Prime Minister Narendra Modi before a general election due
next May.
    "With elections looming, the Reserve Bank of India may also
have to act proactively to temper bond and forex market
volatility through various interventions, beyond regular forex
intervention. We expect tightening risks to remain on the
table," DBS said in note
 Change on the day at 0535 GMT                    
 Currency               Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
 Japan yen              109.540     109.11        -0.39
 Sing dlr               1.342       1.3400        -0.18
 Taiwan dlr             29.940      29.783        -0.52
 Korean won             1080.800    1076.5        -0.40
 Baht                   32.080      31.9          -0.56
 Peso                   51.934      51.889        -0.09
 Rupiah                 14075.000   14045         -0.21
 Rupee                  67.340      67.08         -0.39
 Yuan                   6.373       6.3671        -0.09
 Change so far in 2018                            
 Currency               Latest bid  End 2017      Pct Move
 Japan yen              109.540     112.67        +2.86
 Sing dlr               1.342       1.3373        -0.38
 Taiwan dlr             29.940      29.848        -0.31
 Korean won             1080.800    1070.50       -0.95
 Baht                   32.080      32.58         +1.56
 Peso                   51.934      49.977        -3.77
 Rupiah                 14075.000   13565         -3.62
 Rupee                  67.340      63.87         -5.15
 Yuan                   6.373       6.5069        +2.10
 Ringgit*               3.948       4.0440        +2.43
    *Markets closed on Wednesday. Values as at Tuesday's close. 

 (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru;
Editing by Shri Navaratnam)
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