January 4, 2018 / 5:28 AM / a year ago

EM ASIA FX-Most Asian currencies fall as dollar rebounds; baht, rupiah rise

 (Adds details, updates prices)
    By Ambar Warrick
    Jan 4 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies slipped against the
dollar on Thursday after upbeat U.S. economic data, plus minutes
from the Federal Reserve's December policy meeting, spurred some
recovery for the weak greenback. 
    The dollar rose on better-than-expected U.S. December
factory data, and was further boosted after minutes of the Fed
minutes showed a more hawkish stance about the U.S. economy than
some anticipated.
    "Today's movement is largely driven by the dollar rebound," 
Sim Moh Siong, FX strategist at Bank of Singapore, said. 
    Sim said the dollar's rebound likely is short term and it
should taper because global recovery should continue to keep the
currency softer.
    But if U.S. payroll numbers due on Friday are strong, "there
could be a bit more dollar strengthening," he added.
    Among Asian currencies, the Philippine peso  saw
its biggest drop in more than three weeks, falling as much as
0.2 percent to 49.930 to the dollar.
     Philippine consumer prices likely increased in December at
the same annual pace as in November, a Reuters poll showed.
December inflation data is due on Friday.
    The Malaysian ringgit shed as much as 0.3 percent
against the dollar. Malaysia is unlikely to meet earlier targets
it set for a balanced budget by 2020, the second finance
minister said.
    The Thai baht and the Indonesian rupiah
were among Thursday's few gainers among Asian currencies. Both
currencies rose about 0.2 percent against the dollar.
    Thailand and Indonesia, which are both major commodity
exporters, have seen their economies benefit from a recent
uptrend in oil prices.
    "Rising oil prices will be positive for commodity driven
currencies," Sim of Bank of Singapore said.
    Oil prices on Thursday remained near levels last seen in
late 2014/2015, with markets tightening amid tensions in Iran
and due to ongoing OPEC-led production cuts.
 CURRENCIES VS U.S.                                     
 Change on the day at   0437 GMT                        
 Currency                     Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
 Japan yen                    112.620     112.49        -0.12
 Sing dlr                     1.330       1.3292        -0.06
 Taiwan dlr                   29.595      29.600        +0.02
 Korean won                   1065.200    1064.5        -0.07
 Baht                         32.244      32.3          +0.17
 Peso                         49.895      49.81         -0.17
 Rupiah                       13445.000   13473         +0.21
 Rupee                        63.510      63.53         +0.03
 Ringgit                      4.017       4.012         -0.12
 Yuan                         6.507       6.5005        -0.11
 Change so far in 2018                                  
 Currency                     Latest bid  End 2017      Pct Move
 Japan yen                    112.620     112.67        +0.04
 Sing dlr                     1.330       1.3373        +0.55
 Taiwan dlr                   29.595      29.848        +0.85
 Korean won                   1065.200    1070.50       +0.50
 Baht                         32.244      32.58         +1.04
 Peso                         49.895      49.93         +0.07
 Rupiah                       13445.000   13565         +0.89
 Rupee                        63.510      63.87         +0.57
 Ringgit                      4.017       4.0440        +0.67
 Yuan                         6.507       6.5069        -0.01

 (Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard
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