February 13, 2019 / 5:39 AM / 10 days ago

EM ASIA FX-Emerging Asian units gain on optimism over U.S.-China trade talks

    * Indonesian rupiah leads gains among Asian currencies
    * Malaysian ringgit climbs to over six-month high 

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Aditya Soni
    Feb 13 (Reuters) - Emerging Asian currencies firmed on
Wednesday on hopes for resolution of the Sino-U.S trade war
after the United States opened the door to extending the 90-day
truce that is due to end on March 1.   
    President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he could see letting
the deadline for reaching a trade agreement with China slide a
little if the two sides were close to a complete deal.

    Investors responded by buying emerging Asian currencies,
which strengthened across the board after softening earlier this
week.
    DBS Group Research said in a note that an extension "could
avoid further disruptions to the global economy from a potential
increase in US tariffs on Chinese goods". 
    However, DBS warned that an extension "will only be possible
if China accedes to US's push for enforcement mechanisms on
areas such as forced technology transfer and intellectual
property protection".
    The Indonesian rupiah, the second-best performing
Asian currency in 2019, led Wednesday's gains, firming 0.4
percent.
    The Malaysian ringgit strengthened to its highest
since July.  
    The Indian rupee climbed 0.2 percent to a more than
one month high. This comes after news consumer prices rose at a
milder pace than anticipated, strengthening views that the
central bank - which trimmed the key rate on Feb. 7 - could
again cut the key interest rate in April.
    The South Korean won and Singapore dollar,
currencies of economies that are exporters of electronics, rose
0.3 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively. 
    The trade war has weighed on exports of both Singapore and
South Korea. The city-state's shipments had their worst decline
in more than two years in December. 
    The Chinese yuan firmed to a two-week high, while
the Thai baht added 0.2 percent. 
    

    CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
    The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar at 0532 GMT.
    
 Currency               Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
 Japan yen              110.620     110.48        -0.13
 Sing dlr               1.354       1.3560        +0.15
 Taiwan dlr             30.816      30.831        +0.05
 Korean won             1120.300    1123.9        +0.32
 Baht                   31.260      31.315        +0.18
 Peso                   51.940      52.07         +0.25
 Rupiah                 14015.000   14065         +0.36
 Rupee                  70.530      70.70         +0.24
 Ringgit                4.063       4.077         +0.34
 Yuan                   6.756       6.7715        +0.23
                                                  
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Currency               Latest bid  End 2018      Pct Move
 Japan yen              110.620     109.56        -0.96
 Sing dlr               1.354       1.3627        +0.64
 Taiwan dlr             30.816      30.733        -0.27
 Korean won             1120.300    1115.70       -0.41
 Baht                   31.260      32.55         +4.13
 Peso                   51.940      52.47         +1.02
 Rupiah                 14015.000   14375         +2.57
 Rupee                  70.530      69.77         -1.08
 Ringgit                4.063       4.1300        +1.65
 Yuan                   6.756       6.8730        +1.73
 


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