October 11, 2017 / 7:31 AM / 8 months ago

EM ASIA FX-Asian currencies steady, tax concerns keep dollar under pressure

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    Oct 11 (Reuters) - Emerging Asian currencies were mostly
steady against the dollar on Wednesday, remaining broadly
supported as concerns President Donald Trump's tax overhaul plan
could stall kept pressure on the greenback against its major
    In China, the yuan see-sawed against the greenback, despite
the country's central bank fixing the midpoint at its highest
level in three weeks, amid cautious trade in the currency ahead
of key national leadership meeting next week.
    The dollar index was slightly weaker, near two-week
lows, reflecting uncertainty over Trump's tax overhaul plan.

    Elsewhere in Asia, the Thai baht and the Taiwan
dollar strengthened 0.2 percent and 0.5 percent against
the dollar respectively.
    Financial markets in Taiwan resumed operations after a long
weekend on Wednesday, with Taiwan stocks ending the
session 1 percent higher.
    The Singapore dollar and the Indonesian rupiah
 posted very minor gains, while the Korean won
 and Peso fell.
    The peso was the only decliner in the previous session after
weaker than expected trade data from Philippines.
    "The trade deficit data released yesterday did not narrow to
$1.58 billion in August from $1.62 billion in the previous as
expected by consensus. Instead, it widened to $2.41 billion in
August," DBS Bank said in a note.
    In China, traders said authorities are keen to stabilise the
yuan with only one week to go until the National Congress of the
Communist Party of China.
    The spot yuan was 0.02 percent firmer at 6.5806
at 0621 GMT, after the People's Bank of China set the official
yuan midpoint at 6.5841, its biggest one-day strengthening since
early June.
    The currency firmed 0.65 percent against the dollar in the
previous session.
    "This morning dollar-yuan fix came in higher than street
estimates of the fix, despite the sharp move lower in
dollar-offshore yuan and U.S. dollar softness," said Christopher
Wong, an FX strategist with Malayan Banking Berhad.   
   "That could imply that policymakers may not be comfortable
with the sharp one way move yesterday as stability remains key
ahead of the 7th Plenary session and the 19th National
   China's Communist Party opened a meeting on Wednesday to make
final preparations for a key party congress later this month.
The party's constitution will be amended at the end of the
    However, a strong fix was partially offset by bank clients
taking advantage of cheaper dollars, traders said. 
    The baht was firm for a third straight session on Wednesday,
having recorded its biggest percentage gain since the end of
July in the previous session.
    The currency got a fillip on Tuesday after Prime Minister
Prayuth Chan-ocha, head of the ruling junta, said Thailand will
hold a general election in November 2018, the most precise date
he has given yet for the vote since taking power in a 2014
military coup.
    Thai shares finished near 24-year closing highs as a
result, hovering around the same level on Wednesday.
 Change on the day at   0627 GMT                        
 Currency                     Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
 Japan yen                    112.35      112.44        +0.08
 Sing dlr                     1.3556      1.3559        +0.02
 Taiwan dlr                   30.220      30.376        +0.52
 Korean won                   1136        1135.1        -0.11
 Baht                         33.190      33.26         +0.21
 Peso                         51.440      51.44         +0.00
 Rupiah                       13510       13512         +0.01
 Rupee                        65.27       65.28         +0.02
 Ringgit                      4.214       4.217         +0.07
 Yuan                         6.578       6.5818        +0.06
 Change so far in 2017                                  
 Currency                     Latest bid  End 2016      Pct Move
 Japan yen                    112.35      117.07        +4.20
 Sing dlr                     1.3556      1.4490        +6.89
 Taiwan dlr                   30.220      32.279        +6.81
 Korean won                   1136        1207.70       +6.28
 Baht                         33.190      35.80         +7.86
 Peso                         51.440      49.72         -3.34
 Rupiah                       13510       13470         -0.30
 Rupee                        65.265      67.92         +4.07
 Ringgit                      4.214       4.4845        +6.42
 Yuan                         6.578       6.9467        +5.61
 (Reporting by Rushil Dutta in Bengaluru; Editing by Sam Holmes)
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