August 31, 2017 / 5:30 AM / in a year

EM ASIA FX-Most Asian currencies edge lower as upbeat U.S. data lifts dollar

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Christina Martin
    Aug 31 (Reuters) - Most emerging Asian currencies slipped on
Thursday after the dollar rose broadly as stronger-than-expected
U.S. economic data boosted expectations for a solid U.S. jobs
    The dollar touched a two-week high against the yen after
U.S. gross domestic product was revised higher to show a 3
percent annual growth rate in the second quarter, due partly to
robust consumer spending and strong business investment.

    The ADP National Employment Report showed U.S.
private-sector employers hired 237,000 workers in August, the
biggest monthly increase in five months, also boosting the
greenback and driving expectations for a solid U.S. August
non-farm payrolls figure. 
    "Markets are in a Charles Dickens kind of moment - it's the
best of times, it's the worst of times. Up until the U.S.
numbers overnight, short dollar positioning had been reaching
satiation," said Emmanuel Ng, FX strategist at Oversea-Chinese
Banking Corporation Ltd.
    "The U.S. data points provided the perfect excuse to pare
prior dollar shorts, especially ahead of non-farm payrolls
tomorrow. So currently, we are sitting in a somewhat surreal
juncture, with risk appetite stronger but a strong dollar
    The Chinese yuan inched down after spiking to a
14-month high in the previous session, while the Korean won
 fell 0.2 percent. 
    Bucking the trend, the Singapore dollar was headed to
snap two straight sessions of declines, edging up marginally,
while the baht climbed 0.1 percent.
    Thailand's annual industrial output rose in July, after a
fall the previous month, helped by stronger car engine and
electronic production suggesting the economic recovery is
gaining momentum.
    Markets in Malaysia was closed on Thursday for a holiday. 
    The yuan weakened slightly on Thursday, taking a
breather from its 0.8 percent rise against the U.S. dollar so
far this week, as the dollar rebounded after strong economic
    Prior to the market open on Thursday, the People's Bank of
China raised its official yuan midpoint to 6.6010 per
dollar, the strongest since June 24, 2016, likely reflecting
gains in the spot yuan rate from a day earlier rather than any
broad dollar moves, traders said.
    In the spot market, the onshore yuan opened at 6.5974 per
dollar and was changing hands at that same level at midday, 8
pips softer than Wednesday's late session close but 0.05 percent
firmer than the midpoint.
    The Sourth Korean won was little changed early on
Thursday, shaking off a rebound in U.S. stocks and a
widely-predicted decision by the Bank of Korea to hold its
benchmark rate at its record low of 1.25 percent.
    The won was at 1,124.5 to the dollar, almost unchanged from
Wednesday's close of 1,124.2.
    The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar at 0504 GMT.
  Currency               Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
  Japan yen              110.48            110.22     -0.24
  Sing dlr               1.3579            1.3583     +0.03
  Taiwan dlr             30.172            30.156     -0.05
  Korean won             1127              1124.2     -0.28
  Baht                   33.180              33.2     +0.06
  Peso                   51.180             51.13     -0.10
  Rupiah                 13343              13346     +0.02
  Rupee                  64.04              64.02     -0.04
  Yuan                   6.598             6.5966     -0.03
  Change so far in 2017                                    
  Currency               Latest bid   End 2016     Pct Move
  Japan yen              110.48            117.07     +5.96
  Sing dlr               1.3579            1.4490     +6.71
  Taiwan dlr             30.172            32.279     +6.98
  Korean won             1127             1207.70     +7.12
  Baht                   33.180             35.80     +7.90
  Peso                   51.180             49.72     -2.85
  Rupiah                 13343              13470     +0.95
  Rupee                  64.038             67.92     +6.06
  Yuan                   6.598             6.9467     +5.28

 (Reporting by Christina Martin in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard
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