December 27, 2017 / 6:00 AM / a year ago

EM ASIA FX-Most Asian currencies edge higher; Philippine peso leads gains

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Susan Mathew
    Dec 27 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies edged higher
against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday, with the Philippines
leading the gains after posting a narrower budget deficit in
November - the latest addition to a run of good economic news. 
    The peso was up 0.3 percent and hit its highest
since mid-June after the four-day Christmas holiday.
     The U.S. dollar was flat, with the dollar index
which measure the greenback against six major rivals, down 0.07
percent at 0523 GMT. 
    Globally, sentiment was buoyed by oil prices rising to 2-1/2
year highs.
    The South Korean won was up 0.08 percent, hitting
its highest since April 2015.
    A Bank of Korea survey showed that median expectation for
the inflation rate over the next 12 months was 2.5 percent in
December, unchanged from November.
    The won seemed unaffected by the survey showing consumer
confidence slipped in December. 
    The Taiwan dollar was unchanged by remarks from
central bank Vice Governor Yang Chin-long who said on Wednesday
that the Taiwan dollar's strengthening this year mostly reflects
the weakening trend of the U.S. dollar.
    The Singapore dollar was up 0.2 percent, its highest
since September 20.
    But China's yuan extended its losses for a second
session on a softer fixing and rising corporate dollar demand,
traders said.
    The peso is on track to post its fifth straight session of
gains, its longest streak of gains since November, when it
gained for seven straight sessions.
    "We are seeing a bit of a recovery in line with strength in
the Asian currency space. The peso is playing a bit of catch
up," said Wei Liang Chang, FX strategist with Mizuho Bank.
    Data on Tuesday showed the budget deficit narrowed in
November to 8.6 billion pesos ($172.14 million) from 19.1
billion pesos a year ago. This comes after the deficit had
widened in October.
    The Philippines has had positive economic news of late, with
third quarter economic growth beating forecasts and the World
Bank expecting it to grow faster in 2018.

    Earlier this month Fitch Ratings upgraded Philippines'
sovereign credit rating to 'BBB', citing the nation's strong
economic performance and policies and pointing to no immediate
impact on investment from President Rodrigo Duterte's war on
 Change on the day at 0523 GMT                       
 Currency                  Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
 Japan yen                 113.19      113.22        +0.03
 Sing dlr                  1.3411      1.3432        +0.16
 Taiwan dlr                29.944      29.945        +0.00
 Korean won                1075        1076.1        +0.08
 Baht                      32.830      32.78         -0.15
 Peso                      49.995      50.14         +0.29
 Rupiah                    13558       13560         +0.01
 Rupee                     64.13       64.08         -0.07
 Ringgit                   4.080       4.083         +0.07
 Yuan                      6.556       6.5450        -0.16
 Change so far in 2017                               
 Currency                  Latest bid  End 2016      Pct Move
 Japan yen                 113.19      117.07        +3.43
 Sing dlr                  1.3411      1.4490        +8.05
 Taiwan dlr                29.944      32.279        +7.80
 Korean won                1075        1207.70       +12.32
 Baht                      32.830      35.80         +9.05
 Peso                      49.995      49.72         -0.55
 Rupiah                    13558       13470         -0.65
 Rupee                     64.125      67.92         +5.92
 Ringgit                   4.080       4.4845        +9.91
 Yuan                      6.556       6.9467        +5.97

($1 = 49.9600 Philippine pesos)

 (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Eric
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