November 9, 2017 / 5:36 AM / 9 months ago

EM ASIA FX-Asian currencies subdued, US tax reform plans in focus

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Patturaja  Murugaboopathy 
    Nov 9 (Reuters) - Asian currencies were shackled on Thursday
as investors pondered the impact on the dollar stemming from
potential delays to U.S. President Donald Trump's major tax
reform plans.
    Those considerations, along with an absence of catalysts,
kept most regional currencies subdued. The dollar hardly budged
either, last fetching 94.926 versus a basket of six major
currencies, up 0.1 percent on the day.
    There was little "tier-1 data" to drive regional currencies,
said Christopher Wong, senior FX strategist for Maybank.
    A U.S. Senate tax-cut bill, differing from one in the House
of Representatives, was expected to be unveiled on Thursday,
complicating a Republican tax overhaul push and increasing
scepticism on Wall Street about the effort.
    Emerging Asian currencies will remain susceptible to the
headlines on the U.S. tax bill, said Qi Gao, Asia FX Strategist
at Scotiabank in a report. 
    The dollar stands to lose ground if the Senate tax bill
delays plans to cut corporate taxes by one year, he said.
    The Indian rupee was supported by some dollar
selling by exporters and IPO-related inflows, taking some
pressure off the currency from higher oil prices.
    Indian companies have raised about $8 billion from IPOs in
India so far in what is set to be a record year. The recent HDFC
Standard Life Insurance Co. Ltd's IPO will be the fourth to
raise more than a billion dollars in 2017.
    So far this month, foreigners have bought about $700 million
in Indian equity markets.
    It was a different story for the Philippine peso,
which was kept in check by corporate demand for dollars and
stock sales by foreigners, traders said. 
    On the policy front, central banks in Malaysia and the
Philippines will meet to review rates later in the day and most
analysts expect them to stand pat.
    Markets will keep a close watch on the policy statement from
the two central banks as they are expected to be among the first
in the region to hike rates next year, said Bank of
Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ said in a research note.
    The Thai central bank left its policy interest rate
unchanged on Wednesday.
    The Indonesian rupiah was trading flat ahead of the
release of current account data for the third quarter. 
    Indonesia had a deficit of $5.0 billion in its total foreign
trade in goods and services in the second quarter, equal to 1.96
percent of gross domestic product.
    China's yuan inched up, supported in part by 
better-than-expected inflation data.

   The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar at 0452 GMT.
  Change on the day                              
   at   0452 GMT                        
  Currency           Latest   Previous   Pct Move
                        bid        day  
  Japan yen          113.84     113.86      +0.02
  Sing dlr           1.3617     1.3616      -0.01
  Taiwan dlr         30.176     30.187      +0.04
  Korean won         1114       1115.6      +0.15
  Baht               33.124      33.11      -0.04
  Peso               51.270       51.3      +0.06
  Rupiah             13512       13515      +0.02
  Rupee              64.87       64.95      +0.12
  Ringgit            4.227       4.228      +0.02
  Yuan               6.631      6.6317      +0.01
  Change so far in                               
  Currency           Latest  End 2016    Pct Move
  Japan yen          113.84     117.07      +2.84
  Sing dlr           1.3617     1.4490      +6.41
  Taiwan dlr         30.176     32.279      +6.97
  Korean won         1114      1207.70      +8.42
  Baht               33.124      35.80      +8.08
  Peso               51.270      49.72      -3.02
  Rupiah             13512       13470      -0.31
  Rupee              64.870      67.92      +4.70
  Ringgit            4.227      4.4845      +6.09
  Yuan               6.631      6.9467      +4.76

 (Reporting by Patturaja Murugaboopathy in Bengaluru; Editing by
Shri Navaratnam)
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