December 26, 2017 / 5:54 AM / 6 months ago

EM ASIA FX-Most Asian currencies hold steady, yuan backs off from 3-1/2-mth high

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Susan Mathew
    Dec 26 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies barely budged in
thin holiday trade on Tuesday, with the Chinese yuan briefly
rallying to a 3-1/2-month high before retreating on corporate
dollar demand.
    China's central bank lifted its official yuan midpoint
 to the highest level in over three months at 6.5416
per dollar, reflecting a strong spot yuan performance a day
    That pushed the onshore yuan to a high of 6.5330
per dollar at one point in early trade, the strongest level
since Sept.13, but it came off in the afternoon to be down on
the day. Traders said corporate buying of dollars weighed on the
    The dollar index, which measures the U.S. currency
against a basket of six rivals, was down 0.08 percent at 0446
    "The (U.S.) dollar may have weakened perhaps due to the
month-end factor. Going to the month end, there might be a
little bit of rebalancing taking place, and that could have led
to the dollar selloff," said Sim Moh Siong, FX strategist at
Bank of Singapore.
    Among other regional currencies, the South Korean won
 was up 0.3 percent, its highest in nearly four weeks,
while the Taiwan dollar advanced 0.08 percent, having
risen as much as 0.2 percent and hitting its highest in more
than three  months.
    Markets in Philippine and Indonesia were closed for trading.

    The Singapore dollar was little changed after
November inflation and industrial production data didn't hold
any major surprises.
    Data showed the city-state's inflation for last month came
in better that forecast, while industrial production lagged
    Mizuho Bank said in a note that both sets of data "are not
expected to be catalysts for Singapore dollar swings," adding
that the currency "was impacted by some of the noise and
volatility from euro swing." 
    The euro was flat after it gave up some ground last
week when Catalan separatists won a regional election, deepening
Spain's political crisis.
 Change on the day at 0446 GMT                      
 Currency                 Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
 Japan yen                113.29      113.25        -0.04
 Sing dlr                 1.3440      1.3438        -0.01
 Taiwan dlr               29.945      29.968        +0.08
 Korean won               1077        1079.7        +0.25
 Baht                     32.770      32.74         -0.09
 Rupee                    64.04       64.05         +0.02
 Ringgit                  4.077       4.077         +0.00
 Yuan                     6.552       6.5408        -0.17
 Change so far in 2017                              
 Currency                 Latest bid  End 2016      Pct Move
 Japan yen                113.29      117.07        +3.34
 Sing dlr                 1.3440      1.4490        +7.81
 Taiwan dlr               29.945      32.279        +7.79
 Korean won               1077        1207.70       +12.14
 Baht                     32.770      35.80         +9.25
 Rupee                    64.035      67.92         +6.07
 Ringgit                  4.077       4.4845        +10.00
 Yuan                     6.552       6.9467        +6.03
 (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru)
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