July 10, 2019 / 6:16 AM / 2 months ago

EM ASIA FX-Investors stay on sidelines as all eyes turn to Powell

    * 6.90 to dollar may be line in sand for China's yuan -
    * Won weakens, S.Korea says Japan export curbs may be
    * Baht slips, c.bank preparing steps to control short-term

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Devika Syamnath
    July 10 (Reuters) - Emerging Asian currencies made only
small moves on Wednesday, as investors waited for congressional
testimony by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell for clues on
the odds of a near-term easing of U.S. monetary policy.
    There was no common trend in Asian units, with both marginal
losses and gains against the dollar which firmed on
higher Treasury yields before Powell's remarks later on
    Strong U.S. jobs data last week doused market hopes for a
large rate cut at the July 30-31 Fed meeting, but a small cut is
still widely expected. 
    "With odds of a 50bps cut at the end of the month now
essentially ruled out, intra-day extension of discretionary USD
strength may stall ahead of Powell's testimony before Congress,"
said OCBC in a note.    
    The Taiwan dollar, which rose against the dollar on
Tuesday, was again up, by 0.1%.  
    Data on Monday showed exports from trade-dependent Taiwan
unexpectedly grew for the first time in eight months in June.

    The South Korean won slipped 0.1%. In the latest
development in a trade dispute, South Korea's president said
Japan's export curbs on key materials used by South Korean
technology firms could be prolonged.
    India's rupee was 0.1% weaker. U.S. President
Donald Trump on Tuesday reiterated his complaints that Indian 
tariffs on U.S. products were unacceptable.
    The Thai baht declined 0.1%.
    Minutes from a June policy meeting showed Thailand's central
bank is preparing measures to control short-term capital
inflows, to temper rapid strength in the baht that may be
inconsistent with economic fundamentals.
    China's yuan was marginally higher at 6.887 after
U.S. and Chinese officials held a "constructive" phone
conversation on Tuesday, marking fresh attempts to resolve
differences over a bruising tariff exchange that has weighed on
global growth.
    A Maybank note said "With trade talks resuming and Trump so
sensitive to yuan depreciation, 6.90 may well be the line in the
sand for now."  
    June inflation numbers out of China raised concerns that
slowing manufacturing activity amid the U.S.-China trade war was
rubbing off on growth in the world's no. 2 economy.
    The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar at 0521 GMT.
 Currency               Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
 Japan yen              108.870     108.84        -0.03
 Sing dlr               1.362       1.3618        +0.01
 Taiwan dlr             31.143      31.181        +0.12
 Korean won             1181.700    1180.5        -0.10
 Baht                   30.860      30.82         -0.13
 Peso                   51.500      51.43         -0.14
 Rupiah                 14135.000   14125         -0.07
 Rupee                  68.585      68.54         -0.07
 Ringgit                4.140       4.141         +0.02
 Yuan                   6.886       6.8880        +0.04
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Currency               Latest bid  End 2018      Pct Move
 Japan yen              108.870     109.56        +0.63
 Sing dlr               1.362       1.3627        +0.08
 Taiwan dlr             31.143      30.733        -1.32
 Korean won             1181.700    1115.70       -5.59
 Baht                   30.860      32.55         +5.48
 Peso                   51.500      52.47         +1.88
 Rupiah                 14135.000   14375         +1.70
 Rupee                  68.585      69.77         +1.73
 Ringgit                4.140       4.1300        -0.24
 Yuan                   6.886       6.8730        -0.18

 (Reporting by Devika Syamnath in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard
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