January 16, 2020 / 5:24 AM / 4 days ago

EM ASIA FX-Most Asian currencies edge up after Sino-U.S. trade deal

    * Lot of trade optimism already priced in - analyst
    * S. Korean won slips; cenbank policy meeting due on Friday
    * Indonesian rupiah firms to near 2-year high

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Niyati Shetty
    Jan 16 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies clocked slight
gains against the greenback on Thursday after the United States
and China signed an initial trade deal, though risk appetite was
subdued as a number of contentious issues remained unresolved. 
    The Chinese yuan rose 0.13% to 6.881 per dollar.
The currency has gained about 2% since December. 
    The deal signed by U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese
Vice Premier Liu He on Wednesday will see China boost purchases
of U.S. products in exchange for a roll back of some tariffs,
but does not address several structural differences that led to
the conflict.  
    "Lot of the optimism on this (trade) front has already been
priced in," analysts at DBS Bank said in a note.
    The Philippine peso added 0.2%, while the Taiwan
dollar and the Malaysian ringgit edged up.  
    The South Korea won retreated 0.2% ahead of Bank
of Korea's (BoK) policy meeting due on Friday. 
    A Reuters poll showed that the central bank is likely to
keep rates on hold at 1.25% due to signs of economic recovery,
though any further uncertainties in its growth outlook could
result in rate cuts again this year.
    "Pressure for the BoK to cut rates to support growth has
been reduced recently, thanks to the stabilisation in external
trade conditions and the pickup in domestic demand," DBS said. 
    
    NO INTERVENTION TO RUPIAH RALLY 
    The Indonesian rupiah was firmed as much as 0.3% to
its strongest level since February 2018.  
    The central bank on Thursday said a stronger rupiah will not
harm exporters, refuting concerns raised by Indonesia's
President Joko Widodo earlier in the day that exporters may be
upset if the currency strengthens too quickly against the
dollar.
    Bank Indonesia's deputy governor reaffirmed that the rupiah
was strengthening on improving fundamentals and added that the
central bank did not see a need to intervene. 
    The rupiah has gained 1.7% so far this year, making it the
best performing currency in the region. 
    
    The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar at 0452 GMT.
    CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
    
 Currency               Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
 Japan yen              109.920     109.88        -0.04
 Sing dlr               1.346       1.3460        +0.00
 Taiwan dlr             29.941      29.950        +0.03
 Korean won             1159.700    1157          -0.23
 Baht                   30.290      30.26         -0.10
 Peso                   50.660      50.76         +0.20
 Rupiah                 13645.000   13660         +0.11
 Rupee                  70.800      70.81         +0.01
 Ringgit                4.067       4.0681        +0.03
 Yuan                   6.884       6.8900        +0.08
                                                  
 Change so far in 2020                            
 Currency               Latest bid  End 2019      Pct Move
 Japan yen              109.920     108.61        -1.19
 Sing dlr               1.346       1.3444        -0.12
 Taiwan dlr             29.941      30.106        +0.55
 Korean won             1159.700    1156.40       -0.28
 Baht                   30.290      29.91         -1.25
 Peso                   50.660      50.65         -0.02
 Rupiah                 13645.000   13880         +1.72
 Rupee                  70.800      71.38         +0.82
 Ringgit                4.067       4.0890        +0.54
 Yuan                   6.884       6.9632        +1.15
 

 (Reporting by Niyati Shetty in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh
Kuber)
  
 
 
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