January 30, 2018 / 5:50 AM / 6 months ago

EM ASIA FX-Asian currencies spooked by stronger dollar; Fed meeting in focus

    * Yuan, yen, sole gainers in Asian currencies
    * S. Korean won on track for third straight loss

 (Adds details, updates prices)
    By Ambar Warrick
    Jan 30 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies fell on Tuesday as
a rise in bond yields prompted a slight recovery in the dollar,
while market participants awaited clues on U.S. fiscal policy
from a two-day Federal Reserve meeting.
    U.S Treasury yields surged to more than three-year highs on
Monday, bolstering the dollar's yield attraction, which
triggered a shift of interest from Asian currencies.
    "I think the dollar is higher largely due to surging
Treasury yields, which is why Asian currencies are lower against
the dollar," said Gao Qi, Asia FX strategist at Scotiabank. 
    Markets are also subdued in anticipation of a two-day
Federal Open Market Committee meeting, as well as U.S. President
Donald Trump's State of the Union speech, OCBC said in a
research note.
    In Asia, the South Korean won was the biggest
percentage loser among its peers, shedding about 0.7 percent to
the dollar. 
    The won, which has gained substantially against the dollar
this year, was on track for its third straight session of
losses.
    South Korea's finance minister said on Monday that the
government may delay the implementation of a proposed widening
of its capital gains tax base for foreign investors, which was
due to take effect from July.
    Uncertainty over the South Korean government's proposed
changes to reduce the foreign ownership threshold will weigh on
the won until their resolution, ANZ said in a note. 
    The Philippine peso was also lower, shedding
about 0.4 percent against the dollar. The peso, which ranked
among the worst performing Asian currencies in 2017, has shed
more than two percent against the dollar in the year so far.
    
    CHINESE YUAN
    The Chinese yuan bucked the trend, rising about
0.2 percent to the dollar. The yuan has been hovering around a
more than two-year high, bolstered by a consistently stronger
midpoint fixing.
    China's central bank set the yuan midpoint lower after seven
straight sessions of stronger fixings.
    "We forecast further CNY appreciation as capital flows have
become more balanced and could shift towards a
resumption of inflows as foreign demand for onshore China assets
increase," ANZ said in a note.
    The yuan gained about 6.8 percent in 2017.
    
    The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar at 0515 GMT.
  
 CURRENCIES VS U.S.                                     
   DOLLAR                                               
 Change on the day at  0515 GMT                         
 Currency                     Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
 Japan yen                    108.800     108.95        +0.14
 Sing dlr                     1.313       1.3099        -0.22
 Taiwan dlr                   29.227      29.150        -0.26
 Korean won                   1073.300    1065.6        -0.72
 Baht                         31.440      31.41         -0.10
 Peso                         51.405      51.185        -0.43
 Rupiah                       13415.000   13362         -0.40
 Rupee                        63.698      63.57         -0.20
 Ringgit                      3.894       3.879         -0.39
 Yuan                         6.335       6.3460        +0.17
                                                        
 Change so far in 2018                                  
 Currency                     Latest bid  End 2017      Pct Move
 Japan yen                    108.800     112.67        +3.56
 Sing dlr                     1.313       1.3373        +1.87
 Taiwan dlr                   29.227      29.848        +2.12
 Korean won                   1073.300    1070.50       -0.26
 Baht                         31.440      32.58         +3.63
 Peso                         51.405      49.93         -2.87
 Rupiah                       13415.000   13565         +1.12
 Rupee                        63.698      63.87         +0.27
 Ringgit                      3.894       4.0440        +3.85
 Yuan                         6.335       6.5069        +2.71
 
 (Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Sam
Holmes)
  
 
 
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