July 31, 2018 / 6:27 AM / 3 months ago

EM ASIA FX-Asian currencies mostly steady after BOJ policy tweak

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Chandini Monnappa
    July 31 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies were little
changed on Tuesday after the Bank of Japan refrained from making
drastic changes to its accommodative policy and as investors
waited on policy reviews from other major central banks,
including the Federal Reserve.
     Concluding its two-day policy board meeting, the BOJ took
steps to make its massive stimulus programme more flexible,
reflecting its forecast that it would take time for inflation to
hit its 2 percent target. However, the central bank resisted
making any big changes to its accommodative stance.
    The immediate focus move to a press briefing by BOJ Governor
Haruhiko Kuroda due at 0630 GMT.
     The dollar index, a measure of its value against a
basket of six major currencies, was flat at 94.318, off a
one-year high of 95.656 touched on July 19.
    "With the broad USD still directionless, and stuck within a
defined range, the attention will be on the central bank
meetings this week to potentially provide some new impetus,"
OCBC analysts said in a note.
    The Fed concludes its policy meeting on Wednesday where it
is expected to hold rates steady. The U.S. central bank so far
this year has increased borrowing costs in March and June, and
investors see additional moves in September and December.
Policymakers have raised rates seven times since December 2015.

    The Bank of England is expected to raise interest rates when
it meets on Thursday to a new post-financial crisis high of 0.75
percent. Investors will also watching out for a raft
of manufacturing surveys globally, due out on Wednesday, for any
signs a U.S.-driven international trade war is having any impact
on major export-reliant economies.  
    South Korea's won and the Thai baht
inched up 0.2 percent each, the most among regional currencies
in a reflection of the reluctance of traders to do much ahead of
the central bank meetings.
    Malaysia's ringgit, Indonesia's rupiah and the
Philippines peso inched 0.1 percent lower.
    China's yuan, which has been under pressure due
to worries about the impact of a heated Sino-U.S. trade row and
slowing growth, weakened 0.1 percent after falling to a 13-month
low on Monday. The yuan was headed for its fourth straight month
of weakening, the longest such streak since early 2015.
    Prior to Tuesday's market opening, the People's Bank of
China (PBOC) set the midpoint rate at 6.8165 per
dollar, 34 pips weaker than the previous fix of 6.8131.  
    The Indian rupee, the wort performing Asian
currency so far this year, ticked up 0.1 percent.
    The Reserve Bank of India is expected to raise rates at its
policy meeting on Wednesday, according to a Reuters
poll
    
    Indonesian Rupiah
    The Indonesian rupiah was on track to weaken for a
fifth month in six as Southeast Asia's largest economy continues
to grapple with a fragile currency amid escalating trade war
concerns
    In a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Indonesia's President asked
his ministers to make "serious" efforts to strengthen the
country's foreign exchange reserves amid pressures caused by a
global trade war.
    Indonesia requires foreign inflow to finance its current
account deficit and the central bank has spent around $12
billion of its forex reserve in recent months to defend the
rupiah, which has lost nearly 6 percent this year.
    
    
    The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar at 0532GMT.
    
    CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
 Currency                     Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
 Japan yen                    111.100     111.06        -0.04
 Sing dlr                     1.361       1.3605        -0.02
 Taiwan dlr                   30.610      30.609        -0.00
 Korean won                   1117.100    1120.2        +0.28
 Baht                         33.250      33.31         +0.18
 Peso                         53.157      53.22         +0.12
 Rupiah                       14412.000   14405         -0.05
 Rupee                        68.610      68.67         +0.09
 Ringgit                      4.058       4.055         -0.07
 Yuan                         6.823       6.8188        -0.06
                                                        
 Change so far in 2018                                  
 Currency                     Latest bid  End 2017      Pct Move
 Japan yen                    111.100     112.67        +1.41
 Sing dlr                     1.361       1.3373        -1.73
 Taiwan dlr                   30.610      29.848        -2.49
 Korean won                   1117.100    1070.50       -4.17
 Baht                         33.250      32.58         -2.02
 Peso                         53.157      49.93         -6.07
 Rupiah                       14412.000   13565         -5.88
 Rupee                        68.610      63.87         -6.91
 Ringgit                      4.058       4.0440        -0.34
 Yuan                         6.823       6.5069        -4.63
 

 (Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru
Editing by Shri Navaratnam)
  
 
 
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