January 5, 2018 / 5:25 AM / 3 months ago

EM ASIA FX-Asian currencies rally on global risk-on, dollar weakness

 (Adds details, updates prices)
    By Ambar Warrick
    Jan 5 (Reuters) - Asian currencies rallied on Friday as
investors globally continued to show strong appetites for risk. 
    The weak dollar contributed to gains. The Philippine peso
hit a near six-month high.
    Asian shares were near a record high, while the euro
held firm and was close to a near three-year high against the
    "The global reflation trade continued to power equities,
commodities and currencies higher into the new year," DBS said
in a research note. "The reflation story in Asia was best
reflected by Southeast Asian currencies."
    The dollar fell against basket of currencies, failing
to capitalise on better than expected jobs data from the United
States. A weaker dollar prompts investors to seek higher yields
in Asian markets and bodes well for their respective currencies.

    However, the greenback may witness a light rebound on
stronger U.S. payroll data for December, due later in the global
    Among Asian currencies, the Philippine peso rose
as much as 0.2 percent to 49.705 against the dollar, its highest
since June. 
    The Philippine annual inflation rate held steady in
December, which might imply that a central rate hike may not be
imminent. Some economists have said price pressures could prompt
a hike this year.
    The peso was on track to end the week 0.4 percent higher.
    The Chinese yuan, which declined the past two
days, rose about 0.2 percent to a near four-month high against
the dollar. The People's Bank of China set the midpoint for the
yuan at its highest level since May 2016.
    The yuan was also on track to end the week 0.4 percent
    The Malaysian ringgit was the best performer among
Asian currencies on Friday, gaining about 0.3 percent to 3.991
against the dollar. 
    Bolstered by stronger oil prices, the ringgit breached the
psychologically important 4.0 level for the first time since
August 2016.
    Malaysia's exports for November grew more than expected,
implying that one of Asia's largest economies stood on stable
    The ringgit was on track for its best week since September
    The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar on Friday.
 CURRENCIES VS U.S.                                     
 Change on the day at   0443 GMT                        
 Currency                     Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
 Japan yen                    112.870     112.74        -0.12
 Sing dlr                     1.327       1.3276        +0.08
 Taiwan dlr                   29.518      29.590        +0.24
 Korean won                   1061.400    1062.2        +0.08
 Baht                         32.159      32.22         +0.19
 Peso                         49.720      49.82         +0.20
 Rupiah                       13407.000   13422         +0.11
 Rupee                        63.333      63.40         +0.11
 Ringgit                      3.994       4.005         +0.28
 Yuan                         6.481       6.4940        +0.20
 Change so far in 2018                                  
 Currency                     Latest bid  End 2017      Pct Move
 Japan yen                    112.870     112.67        -0.18
 Sing dlr                     1.327       1.3373        +0.81
 Taiwan dlr                   29.518      29.848        +1.12
 Korean won                   1061.400    1070.50       +0.86
 Baht                         32.159      32.58         +1.31
 Peso                         49.720      49.93         +0.42
 Rupiah                       13407.000   13565         +1.18
 Rupee                        63.333      63.87         +0.85
 Ringgit                      3.994       4.0440        +1.25
 Yuan                         6.481       6.5069        +0.40


 (Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard
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