September 5, 2017 / 5:26 AM / 6 months ago

EM ASIA FX-Most Asia currencies tick up on eased N.Korea fears; yuan slips

 (Adds text, updates numbers)
    By Ambar Warrick
    Sept 5 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies edged up on Tuesday
as a bit of appetite for risk returned one day after trading
volumes were slashed by North Korea's most powerful bomb test.  
    "Beyond the initial dips in risk assets and bids in safe
havens early Monday, market sentiment has proved to be fairly
resilient, rightly seeing through the current North Korean
tensions as a continuous drama that waxes and (usually) wanes,"
Mizuho Bank said in a research note.
    The Singapore dollar inched up against the U.S.
dollar, after a survey showed activity in the export-heavy
economy's factories expanding at its fastest pace in almost
three years in August.
    The South Korean won edged up slightly against
the dollar after falling to a near two-week low on Monday, the
day after North Korea tested what it said was an advanced
hydrogen bomb for a long-range missile..
    While the won has been undermined by simmering tensions in
the Korean peninsula, South Korea's economy has seen fairly
strong growth this year.
    The country's current account surplus widened to a
five-month high in July at a seasonally adjusted $7.02 billion
from $5.08 billion in June, central bank data showed on Tuesday.

    "While it has been stable against the dollar in a
1,110-1,160 range since April, the won suffered knee-jerk
sell-offs whenever North Korea’s missile tests provoked the
United States," DBS Group said in a research note.
    The Thai baht and the Indian rupee edged
down slightly.
    The Philippine peso edged up to a near two-week
high against the dollar on Tuesday. 
    The annual inflation rate quickened for the second straight
month in August to 3.1 percent, from 2.8 percent in July, due
mainly to higher food prices.
    "The impact of the inflation data is relatively limited on
the peso. Rather, markets have been looking at the nation's
balance sheet, which is expected to be much weaker and as such,
the peso has been underperforming among Asian currencies," said
Gao Qi, a Singapore-based FX strategist at Scotiabank.
    The Chinese yuan, which rose against the dollar in the past
three sessions,  fell from a 15-1/2 month high against the
    It was not impacted by a private survey showing the services
sector in August expanded more quickly, underpinning views that
the world's second-largest net creditor remains on solid
    The Caixin/Markit services purchasing managers' index rose
to 52.7 in August, its highest reading in three months, from
51.5 in July.
    The official midpoint fixing for the yuan "was set higher
than what the market expected, which could explain the slight
decline in the yuan today," said Gao.
    The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar at 0433 GMT
    Change on the day at                                        
          0433 GMT                                      
  Currency                    Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
  Japan yen                   109.270           109.72     +0.41
  Sing dlr                    1.355             1.3566     +0.14
  Taiwan dlr                  30.049            30.101     +0.17
  Korean won                  1132.500            1133     +0.04
  Baht                        33.170            33.171     +0.00
  Peso                        51.140            51.165     +0.05
  Rupiah                      13339.000          13341     +0.01
  Rupee                       64.130             64.05     -0.12
  Ringgit                     4.266              4.269     +0.07
  Yuan                        6.541             6.5320     -0.13
  Change so far in 2017                                         
  Currency                    Latest bid  End 2016      Pct Move
  Japan yen                   109.270           117.07     +7.14
  Sing dlr                    1.355             1.4490     +6.96
  Taiwan dlr                  30.049            32.279     +7.42
  Korean won                  1132.500         1207.70     +6.64
  Baht                        33.170             35.80     +7.93
  Peso                        51.140             49.72     -2.78
  Rupiah                      13339.000          13470     +0.98
  Rupee                       64.130             67.92     +5.91
  Ringgit                     4.266             4.4845     +5.12
  Yuan                        6.541             6.9467     +6.21

 (Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard
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