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EM ASIA FX-Asian currencies subdued by Trump woes; Philippine peso at yet another 11-yr low
August 18, 2017 / 6:11 AM / a month ago

EM ASIA FX-Asian currencies subdued by Trump woes; Philippine peso at yet another 11-yr low

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Susan Mathew
    Aug 18 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies were subdued on
Friday, while the Philippines peso hit a fresh 11-year low, as
markets shied away from riskier assets amid rising doubts about
U.S. President Donald Trump's ability to push through his
economic agenda.
    Investors fretted over the implications for Trump's plans
for tax cuts and infrastructure spending after the president 
disbanded two high-profile business advisory councils on
Wednesday. That action came after several chief executives quit
in protest over Trump's remarks on violence in Virginia.

    Most of the regional currencies traded flat, with the
exception of the South Korean won which fell as much
0.6 percent, and the Philippine peso lost upto 0.5
percent for its tenth straight session of losses.
    On the week, though, the won gained 0.2 percent, snapping
three weeks of losses.
    "I think a large part of it is still the risk appetite not
returning, there is very cautious trading," said Christy Tan,
head of markets strategy, National Australia Bank in Hong Kong 
    Ahead of the weekend, investors are also wary of the risk of
a flare-up in tensions in the Korean peninsula," Tan said,
adding "so that is still keeping everyone on the defensive."
    The Taiwan dollar declined 0.1 percent ahead of
revised second quarter gross domestic product numbers due out
later in the session, while the Chinese yuan fell
0.05 percent.
    The Malaysian ringgit was marginally lower, largely
shrugging off data showing the economy grew at a faster than
expected pace in the second quarter.
    On the other hand, the Thai baht and the Singapore
dollar edged up, adding 0.1 percent each.
    
    PHILIPPINE PESO
    The Philippine peso fell to another 11-year low on Friday,
its third time this week, having only briefly pulled ahead in
the previous session when data showed economic growth quickened
at a solid pace in the second quarter.
    "While we saw positive GDP, the general confidence regarding
the Philippines is still quite soft given that the trade
performance has been very disappointing, and that is something
everyone is more focused on and it's not helping the peso in any
way," Tan said.
   A government-driven infrastructure drive has seen a surge in
capital goods imports, and accounted for a sizable reason for a
trade deficit of $13.2 billion in the first half of the year.

    That puts the nation on track for its first annual current
account deficit in 15 years - an unfavourable state of affairs
for the peso especially as traders worry about how the gap would
be funded if foreign investment doesn't keep pace.
       
    CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
 Change on the day at 0520 GMT                     
 Currency                Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
 Japan yen               109.340     109.56        +0.20
 Sing dlr                1.365       1.3663        +0.13
 Taiwan dlr              30.341      30.312        -0.10
 Korean won              1140.800    1137.2        -0.32
 Baht                    33.220      33.25         +0.09
 Peso                    51.460      51.355        -0.20
 Rupiah                  13362.000   13377         +0.11
 Rupee                   64.108      64.15         +0.07
 Ringgit                 4.295       4.294         -0.01
 Yuan                    6.677       6.6735        -0.05
                                                   
 Change so far in 2017                             
 Currency                Latest bid  End 2016      Pct Move
 Japan yen               109.340     117.07        +7.07
 Sing dlr                1.365       1.4490        +6.19
 Taiwan dlr              30.341      32.279        +6.39
 Korean won              1140.800    1207.70       +5.86
 Baht                    33.220      35.80         +7.77
 Peso                    51.460      49.72         -3.38
 Rupiah                  13362.000   13470         +0.81
 Rupee                   64.108      67.92         +5.95
 Ringgit                 4.295       4.4845        +4.42
 Yuan                    6.677       6.9467        +4.04
 
 (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Shri
Navaratnam)
  
 
 

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