October 9, 2017 / 7:42 AM / 8 months ago

EM ASIA FX-Asian currencies rise as yuan returns from holiday

    By Hanna Paul
    Oct 9 (Reuters) - Asian currencies traded in positive
territory on Monday and the yuan reopened a little firmer in
thin liquidity after China's week-long National day holiday as
investors waited on the sidelines for a national leadership
meeting next week. 
    Stability in the yuan would remain the priority for the
authorities in the run-up to the party congress, which starts on
Oct. 18. 
    An unfavourable survey of China's service industries showing
the sector's growth slipped to a 21-month low failed to push the
currency down.
   The yuan was helped by investors finding reasons for optimism
in uninspiring U.S. jobs data last week, and the fact underlying
recovery has been continuing so far, said Vishnu Varathan,
senior economist from Mizuho Bank.
    The U.S. non-farm payroll data showed its first monthly
decline in seven years as hurricanes Harvey and Irma disrupted
production and left displaced workers temporarily
    The report also featured the unemployment rate hitting a
more than 16-1/2-year low and annual wage growth, which
accelerated to 2.9 percent. 
    "Stronger US private wage growth could bolster the USD’s
ongoing strength versus emerging Asian currencies before U.S.
President Trump nominates the next Fed chair and the US House of
Representatives votes on the GOP (Republican Party) tax reform
plan," Scotiabank said in a note.
     The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a
basket of rivals, lost marginally as concerns over North Korea
preparing for missile tests resurfaced.
    News that a Russian lawmaker who just returned from a visit
to Pyongyang said North Korea was preparing to test a missile
which it expected would reach the west coast of the United
States helped to keep the safe-haven yen afloat but failed to
bolster the other currencies.
    "North Korea risks have played some parts in pushing USD
yields off highs but I don’t see it having an over-arching
effect on currencies because it doesnt really square with the
wider picture of risks," Mizhuo's Varathan said.
    Among regional currencies the Singapore dollar inched
up after two days in the red. Oil prices inched up on hopes that
Saudi Arabia would continue to curb its production to support
     The Thai baht rose marginally. Thailand obtained
an aviation safety upgrade from the U.N. International Civil
Aviation Organization, enabling the Thai airline industry to
operate in more interational routes.
    The Indian rupee and the Malasian Ringgit
nudged higher. 
    South Korea won and Taiwan dollar markets were closed for a

 The Philippine peso ticked up, ahead of the release of August
trade data later in the week.
    "We reckon that import growth may remain in the negative, on
a year-on-year basis, until the year-end," DBS Research said in
a note.
    Investors are also waiting for the tax reform measures,
which will be sent to the Senate for approval later this week.
    The tax measures are central to President Rodrigo Duterte's
ambitious plans to foster higher, more sustainable growth
through his $180 billion "Build, Build, Build" infrastructure

    The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar at 0620 GMT.

  Change on the day at 0620 GMT                                 
  Currency                        Latest bid     Previous    Pct
                                                      day   Move
  Japan yen                       112.610          112.63  +0.02
  Sing dlr                        1.364            1.3644  +0.05
  Baht                            33.380            33.43  +0.15
  Peso                            51.170            51.15  -0.04
  Rupiah                          13497.000         13503  +0.04
  Rupee                           65.318            65.38  +0.09
  Ringgit                         4.227             4.236  +0.21
  Yuan                            6.636            6.6528  +0.25
  Change so far                                                 
  Currency                        Latest bid  End 2016       Pct
  Japan yen                       112.610          117.07  +3.96
  Sing dlr                        1.364            1.4490  +6.26
  Baht                            33.380            35.80  +7.25
  Peso                            51.170            49.72  -2.83
  Rupiah                          13497.000         13470  -0.20
  Rupee                           65.318            67.92  +3.98
  Ringgit                         4.227            4.4845  +6.09
  Yuan                            6.636            6.9467  +4.68

 (Reporting by Hanna Paul; Editing by Eric Meijer)
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