May 29, 2018 / 5:22 AM / 3 months ago

EM ASIA FX-Asian currencies softer as dollar gains on euro concerns

    * China's yuan drops on softer fixing
    * Indian rupee declines most among regional currencies
    * Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand closed for holiday

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Susan Mathew
    May 29 (Reuters) - Asian currencies inched lower on Tuesday
in thin holiday trade as the dollar held near 6-1/2 month highs
scaled in the previous session, as concerns about Italian
politics and the euro zone dented investor sentiment.
    Uncertainties regarding the elections in Italy pressured the
euro, helping the dollar's gains. An index which measures
the dollar against a basket of six rivals was up 0.1
percent to 94.324 by 0449 GMT.
    Investors now await the U.S. ADP employment report,
first-quarter economic growth numbers and consumer spending
numbers later this week.
    "A slower print on price-related data in particular PCE core
and wage growth on Friday, could reinforce the case for the U.S.
dollar and Treasury yields to ease, and that may provide a
breather for emerging forex," said Christopher Wong, a senior FX
strategist with Maybank.
    The Chinese yuan weakened up to 0.3 percent to
its lowest level since mid-Jan at 6.4177 per dollar.
    The People's Bank of China lowered its official yuan
midpoint to 6.4021 per dollar, its weakest in more than four
months, on Tuesday, reflecting strength in the greenback.

    The South Korean won slipped after four straight
sessions of gains, which were driven by Washington's revived
diplomatic efforts with North Korea.
    South Korean President Moon Jae-in said there could be more
impromptu talks and summits with North Korea's Kim Jong Un, as
U.S. officials sought to resurrect a scrapped meeting between
President Donald Trump and Kim.
    The Indian rupee, which had been gaining thanks to
declining oil prices, fell the most among regional currencies on
Tuesday, down 0.4 percent.
    Investors are now awaiting Bank Indonesia's ad-hoc meeting
on Wednesday, at which analysts expect the central bank to raise
interest rates to support the rupiah, which had hit 2-1/2
year lows earlier this month, and to plug capital outflow.

    The rupiah had climbed nearly 1 percent on Monday. 
    Currency trading in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand was
closed for local holidays.

 Change on the day at 0442 GMT                     
 Currency                Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
 Japan yen               108.960     109.41        +0.41
 Sing dlr                1.344       1.3424        -0.12
 Taiwan dlr              29.971      29.928        -0.14
 Korean won              1076.400    1074.2        -0.20
 Peso                    52.551      52.586        +0.07
 Rupee                   67.695      67.43         -0.39
 Yuan                    6.412       6.3969        -0.23
 Change so far in 2018                             
 Currency                Latest bid  End 2017      Pct Move
 Japan yen               108.960     112.67        +3.40
 Sing dlr                1.344       1.3373        -0.50
 Taiwan dlr              29.971      29.848        -0.41
 Korean won              1076.400    1070.50       -0.55
 Peso                    52.551      49.977        -4.90
 Rupiah*                 13985.000   13565         -3.00
 Rupee                   67.695      63.87         -5.65
 Yuan                    6.412       6.5069        +1.49
 * As of close on Monday

 (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Sam Holmes)
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