January 15, 2020 / 5:36 AM / 8 days ago

EM ASIA FX-Most Asian currencies falter as U.S. stands pat on China tariffs

    * Yuan poised to end six-week winning streak
    * S. Korean cenbank to keep key rates unchanged - poll
    * Indonesian rupiah slips even as trade deficit narrows in
Dec

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Niyati Shetty
    Jan 15 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies eased on Wednesday
as risk sentiment was curbed ahead of the signing of the Phase 1
Sino-U.S. trade deal after comments from Washington that tariffs
would remain in place for now. 
    Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin late on Tuesday said that
the United States would keep in place its tariffs on Chinese
goods until the completion of a second phase trade agreement.

    The yuan retreated 0.2% to 6.895 a dollar and was
set to snap six straight sessions of gains. 
    Markets were reminded of the longer-term structural points
of contention in U.S.-China relationship, Maybank analysts said
in a note, adding that "euphoria related to the trade deal
signing could hence be capped".
    Meanwhile, China's central bank injected $58 million in
loans on Wednesday, as its aims to maintain liquidity in a
slowing economy and ease a potential crunch ahead of the Lunar
New Year.
    The trade-sensitive South Korean won slipped as
much as 0.6% to 1,162.80 per dollar. 
    A Reuters poll showed that Bank of Korea is likely to keep
rates on hold at 1.25% during its policy meeting on Friday, due
to signs of economic recovery.
    However, South Korea's economy has been among the worst-hit
by global supply chain disruptions from the trade war and
analysts believe that any further uncertainties in its growth
outlook could see the central bank cutting rates again this
year. 
    Indonesia's rupiah softened 0.3% even as data showed
the country's trade deficit narrowed in December, following its
largest trade gap in seven months in the prior month.

    The stable trade figures comes days after the central bank
said it would let the rupiah strengthen in line with market
movements. 
    The Malaysian ringgit, the Singapore dollar
and the Indian rupee edged lower. 
        

    The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar at 0507 GMT.
    CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR 
 Currency               Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
 Japan yen              109.890     109.97        +0.07
 Sing dlr               1.347       1.3467        -0.05
 Taiwan dlr             29.914      29.942        +0.09
 Korean won             1157.800    1156.1        -0.15
 Baht                   30.270      30.265        -0.02
 Peso                   50.660      50.66         +0.00
 Rupiah                 13700.000   13665         -0.26
 Rupee                  70.933      70.88         -0.07
 Ringgit                4.076       4.073         -0.07
 Yuan                   6.894       6.8845        -0.13
                                                  
 Change so far in 2020                            
 Currency               Latest bid  End 2019      Pct Move
 Japan yen              109.890     108.61        -1.16
 Sing dlr               1.347       1.3444        -0.22
 Taiwan dlr             29.914      30.106        +0.64
 Korean won             1157.800    1156.40       -0.12
 Baht                   30.270      29.91         -1.19
 Peso                   50.660      50.65         -0.02
 Rupiah                 13700.000   13880         +1.31
 Rupee                  70.933      71.38         +0.63
 Ringgit                4.076       4.0890        +0.32
 Yuan                   6.894       6.9632        +1.01
 
 (Reporting by Niyati Shetty in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh
Kuber)
  
 
 
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