September 1, 2017 / 5:40 AM / 7 months ago

EM ASIA FX-Most Asian currencies gain, yuan scales fresh 14-month peak

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Christina Martin
    Sept 1 (Reuters) - Most emerging Asian currencies edged up
on Friday as the dollar slipped after tepid U.S. economic data
casts doubts on whether the Federal Reserve will raise rates
again this year.
    U.S. consumer spending rose slightly less than expected in
July and annual inflation increased at its slowest pace since
late 2015, making the dollar surrender early gains against a
basket of major currencies.
    The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against
a basket of six rival currencies, edged down 0.1 percent to
92.619, poised to shed 0.1 percent for the week.    
    Investors' focus now turns to the monthly U.S. payrolls
report, to be released later in the day.
    The nonfarm payrolls report is expected to show that
employers added 180,000 jobs in August, according to the median
estimate of 93 economists polled by Reuters.
    In Asian currencies, China's yuan rose as much as
0.2 percent, hitting a fresh 14-month high, while the Taiwan
dollar climbed to its highest since June 9, up as much
as 0.3 percent. 
    The Indian rupee inched down slightly, after data
showed the country's growth unexpectedly slid to a three-year
low in the last quarter.
    Gross domestic product grew 5.7 percent in
April-June, its slowest pace since the January-March quarter of
    Markets in Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore
were closed for holidays. The Singapore dollar,
however, was open for trade.
    South Korea's won strengthened early on Friday as
the country's exports saw another big rise while annual
inflation accelerated, raising the prospect of tighter monetary
    The won stood at 1,122.7 against the dollar as of 0236 GMT,
0.5 percent firmer than Thursday's close of 1,127.8.
    The Bank of Korean kept its benchmark interest rate at a
record low of 1.25 percent on Thursday, where it has been since
June last year.
    The Chinese yuan on Friday rose to its highest
against the dollar in 14 months, buoyed by strong guidance while
the dollar remained under pressure.
    Prior to the market open on Friday, the People's Bank of
China raised its official yuan midpoint to 6.5909 per
dollar, past the key psychologically important 6.6 level for the
first time since June 2016.
    In the spot market, the yuan opened at 6.5860 per dollar and
rose to a high of 6.5781, also the strongest since June last
    The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar at 0454 GMT.
  Currency               Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
  Japan yen              110.02            109.96     -0.05
  Sing dlr               1.3560            1.3556     -0.03
  Taiwan dlr             30.118            30.203     +0.28
  Korean won             1123              1127.8     +0.46
  Baht                   33.180              33.2     +0.06
  Rupee                  63.96              63.90     -0.09
  Yuan                   6.582             6.5889     +0.11
  Change so far in 2017                                    
  Currency               Latest bid   End 2016     Pct Move
  Japan yen              110.02            117.07     +6.41
  Sing dlr               1.3560            1.4490     +6.86
  Taiwan dlr             30.118            32.279     +7.18
  Korean won             1123             1207.70     +7.58
  Baht                   33.180             35.80     +7.90
  Rupee                  63.955             67.92     +6.20
  Yuan                   6.582             6.9467     +5.55

 (Reporting By Christina Martin in Bengaluru; Editing by
Jacqueline Wong)
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