December 28, 2018 / 5:06 AM / 4 months ago

EM ASIA FX-Asian units rise as dollar falls on growth concerns

    * Asian currencies firm on broad dollar weakness
    * Thai baht leads gains in the region

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Aditya Soni
    Dec 28 (Reuters) - Emerging Asian currencies advanced
against a weaker dollar on Friday as a slump in U.S. consumer
confidence revived worries about a slowdown in the world's
largest economy.
    A measure of U.S. consumer confidence posted its sharpest
decline in more than three years in December.
    That coupled with fears of renewed escalation in the
Sino-U.S trade war pushed the dollar index, gauging its
value versus six major peers, 0.2 percent lower after it lost
0.5 percent overnight.
    Reuters reported on Thursday that Washington was considering
an executive order in 2019 to declare a national emergency that
would bar U.S. companies from using Huawei Technologies         
and ZTE products, a move that could erase the
progress in trade talks between China and the United States.

    Christopher Wong, a senior FX strategist at Maybank, said
the consumer confidence measure added to a run of poor U.S. data
showing slowing momentum in industrial production and wage
growth, which coupled with dovish Federal Reserve guidance is
likely to underpin "a shift in environment for USD into 2019".
    The Thai baht led gains among Asian currencies,
climbing 0.5 percent to a near three-month high.
    The Indian rupee rose 0.4 percent and the
Philippine peso 0.3 percent. 
    Both India and Philippines benefited from recent weakness in
oil prices. Global benchmark Brent crude rose 1.9
percent on Friday but fell more than 4 percent in the previous
session.
    The Chinese yuan firmed 0.2 percent to its
highest since Dec. 5 during its last trading session this year,
after China's central bank declared that it will keep the
currency stable.
    The yuan has clawed back some of its losses in recent months
after being under heavy selling pressure for most of 2018 as the
world's second largest economy shows signs of slowdown amid a
bitter trade war. It is on track to post a decline of 5.1
percent to the greenback in 2018.
    The Korean won climbed 0.2 percent. South Korea
said 2018 exports exceeded $600 billion, a record high.

    Most regional units are on track for sizable losses in 2018,
hurt by factors including hiked U.S. interest rates and
collateral damage from the U.S.-China trade war.
    The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar at 0418 GMT.
    CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
    
 Currency                     Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
 Japan yen                    110.590     110.99        +0.36
 Sing dlr                     1.368       1.3705        +0.15
 Taiwan dlr                   30.741      30.802        +0.20
 Korean won                   1117.900    1120          +0.19
 Baht                         32.400      32.55         +0.46
 Peso                         52.530      52.67         +0.27
 Rupiah                       14545.000   14555         +0.07
 Rupee                        70.080      70.35         +0.39
 Ringgit                      4.154       4.166         +0.29
 Yuan                         6.856       6.8675        +0.17
                                                        
 Change so far in 2018                                  
 Currency                     Latest bid  End 2017      Pct Move
 Japan yen                    110.590     112.67        +1.88
 Sing dlr                     1.368       1.3373        -2.27
 Taiwan dlr                   30.741      29.848        -2.90
 Korean won                   1117.900    1070.50       -4.24
 Baht                         32.400      32.58         +0.56
 Peso                         52.530      49.93         -4.95
 Rupiah                       14545.000   13565         -6.74
 Rupee                        70.080      63.87         -8.86
 Ringgit                      4.154       4.0440        -2.65
 Yuan                         6.856       6.5069        -5.09
 

 (Reporting by Aditya Soni in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard
Borsuk)
  
 
 
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