March 29, 2018 / 7:04 AM / a year ago

EM ASIA FX-Asian FX rally pauses as quarter-end flows support dollar, easing tensions help won

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Patturaja  Murugaboopathy 
    March 29 (Reuters) - Asian currencies were mostly restrained
on Thursday as quarter-end flows supported the greenback and
parts of the region headed into thin holiday trade, although
easing tensions on the Korean peninsula lent support to the won
    "Asian currencies have been on a back foot today, partly due
to month-end and quarter-end rebalancing demand for the dollar,"
said Khoon Goh, head of Asia research at ANZ Banking Group.
    "Once we get past the month-end rebalancing demand for the
dollar, we should see the Asian currencies resume their
appreciation this week."
    The Malaysian ringgit, after three successive gaining
sessions this week, fell 0.1 percent on Thursday, while the
Singapore dollar, Thai baht and Taiwan dollar
 were trading flat.
    The South Korean won rose 0.4 percent on optimism over North
Korea's Leader Kim Jong Un's recent visit to China. After his
visit, China said the North Korean Leader pledged his commitment
to  denuclearisation and to meet U.S. officials.
    Sentiment was also lifted due to an agreement reached by the
United States and South Korea this week on a revised trade pact.
    A South Korean government official said on Thursday that
disclosing details of actions taken by currency authorities is
likely to ease concerns about the country being labelled a
"currency manipulator" by the United States, lending some
support to won.
    Most other regional currencies were subdued against the
    China's yuan inched up slightly despite a much
weaker official fixing.
    India and Philippine currency markets were closed due to
    After facing sharp declines in February, Asian currencies
have rebounded this month, led by the won and ringgit, on easing
trade and geo-political tensions.
    The JPY/KRW pair, which some analysts say is the best proxy
to express fears of trade war, has fallen 4 percent this week.
    The ringgit was down 0.1 percent on Thursday after gaining
over 1 percent this month, bolstered by high oil prices and
foreign flows.
    Analysts are more positive after Bank Negara Malaysia's
comments that its economy is expected to grow at a faster pace
than forecast earlier.
    "Macro backdrop has turned more favourable for the ringgit,"
ANZ's Goh said.
    The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar at 0609 GMT.
   Change as of  0609                           
  Currency               Latest  Previous    Pct
                            bid       day   Move
  Japan yen             106.530    106.85  +0.30
  Sing dlr              1.312      1.3114  -0.04
  Taiwan dlr            29.150     29.163  +0.04
  Korean won            1065.30    1070.8  +0.52
  Baht                  31.220      31.24  +0.06
  Rupiah                13762.0     13760  -0.01
  Ringgit               3.867       3.862  -0.13
  Yuan                  6.294      6.2984  +0.07
 * The Philippine and Indian markets are closed
 on Thursday for holidays.
  Change so far in                              
  Currency              Latest   End 2017    Pct
                        bid                 Move
  Japan yen             106.530    112.67  +5.76
  Sing dlr              1.312      1.3373  +1.94
  Taiwan dlr            29.150     29.848  +2.39
  Korean won            1065.30   1070.50  +0.49
  Baht                  31.220      32.58  +4.36
  Peso                  52.160      49.93  -4.28
  Rupiah                13762.0     13565  -1.43
  Rupee                 65.170      63.87  -1.99
  Ringgit               3.867      4.0440  +4.58
  Yuan                  6.294      6.5069  +3.38
 (Reporting by Patturaja Murugaboopathy in Bengaluru; Editing by
Sam Holmes)
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