October 5, 2017 / 6:39 AM / 9 months ago

EM ASIA FX-Asian currencies mostly lower as upbeat U.S. data bolsters dollar

    By Hanna Paul
    Oct 5 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies took a knock on
Thursday as the dollar firmed on U.S. economic data that showed
strong growth in the country's service sector.
    U.S. service sector growth rate hit its fastest in 12 years
in September, helping the dollar index against a group of six
rivals rise marginally.
    Other data showed private employers in the U.S. added more
jobs than forecast despite the impact of Hurricanes Harvey and
    Markets are now awaiting U.S. non-farm payrolls data, due on
    The Indian rupee also weakened slightly after the
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) kept its policy rate unchanged,
which was within sight of seven-year lows, due to the surge in
    The RBI plans to lower its statutory liquidity ratio, the
amount of bonds that banks must set aside with the central bank,
to accelerate lending in the economy.
    "These transmission efforts will boost supply-side credit
stimulus, but credit demand given strapped corporate balance
sheets may be the variable to watch," Mizuho Daily said in a
    In other Asian currencies, the Singapore dollar was
among the biggest decliners, falling 0.2 percent against the
    The Thai baht and the Indonesian rupiah also
inched lower.
    Meanwhile, the Taiwan dollar crawled up, headed for
its best day in about 4 weeks.
    China, Hong Kong and South Korea markets are closed for a
    The Philippine Peso was slightly lower with the
upbeat U.S. data and heightened chances of a Fed rate hike at
the end of the year weighing on the currency.
    Local data revealed the country's annual inflation for
September outpaced expectations with the consumer price index
(CPI) rising 3.4 percent in September, exceeding economists'
forecast of 3.2 percent.
    The central bank expects inflation to average 3.2 percent
this year and some economists predicted that the governing body
would push up rates as early as this quarter, according to a
poll by Reuters.
    "The upward risks to inflation may now prompt the central
bank to turn more hawkish. We remain of the view that a 25bps
rate hike is likely either in November or December," DBS
Research said in a note.

    The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar at 0602 GMT.

 Change on the day at 0602 GMT                          
  Currency                       Latest  Previous    Pct
                                    bid       day   Move
  Japan yen                     112.750    112.74  -0.01
  Sing dlr                      1.364      1.3609  -0.21
  Taiwan dlr                    30.342     30.450  +0.36
  Baht                          33.370      33.34  -0.09
  Peso                          51.010         51  -0.02
  Rupiah                        13485.0     13475  -0.07
  Rupee                         65.163      65.01  -0.23
  Ringgit                       4.227       4.226  -0.02
 Change so far in 2017                                  
  Currency                      Latest   End 2016    Pct
                                bid                 Move
  Japan yen                     112.750    117.07  +3.83
  Sing dlr                      1.364      1.4490  +6.26
  Taiwan dlr                    30.342     32.279  +6.38
  Baht                          33.370      35.80  +7.28
  Peso                          51.010      49.72  -2.53
  Rupiah                        13485.0     13470  -0.11
  Rupee                         65.163      67.92  +4.23
  Ringgit                       4.227      4.4845  +6.09
 (Reporting by Hanna Paul; Editing by Sam Holmes)
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