December 7, 2018 / 6:41 AM / 8 months ago

EM ASIA FX-Most Asian currencies rise as dollar weakens ahead of jobs data

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Patturaja  Murugaboopathy 
    Dec 7 (Reuters) - Asian currencies clawed back some of their
losses against the dollar on Friday after three straight days of
decline, as lower bond yields and speculation that the pace of
U.S. monetary tightening will slow next year softened the
greenback.
    The Indian rupee and the Indonesian rupiah
led the regional gains, adding about half a percent against the
dollar on Friday. Both currencies were also supported by a
decline in crude prices as India and Indonesia are major oil
importing countries.
    The Federal Reserve is this month expected to raise interest
rates for the fourth time in 2018, but investors have rapidly
pared back their expectations for additional rate hikes next
year. Investors now await November U.S. employment data due
later on Friday for clues to how the world's top economy is
faring.
    However, despite the dollar's softness, analysts are still
cautious on Asian currencies in the short-term.
    "In this midst of a more dovish Fed, AXJ currencies should
have more room for respite against the dollar," said Leong Sook
Mei, ASEAN head of global markets research at MUFG Bank. "But
these gains are likely superficial at best in the short term
given greater U.S. equity market volatility, U.S. Treasury yield
curve inversion concerns, and higher oil prices."
    The dollar index, which measures the greenback
against a basket of six major peers, was little changed at
96.802. The index shed 0.3 percent during the previous session,
closing at a one-week low and was down 0.9 percent from a
17-month peak hit on Nov. 12.
    The South Korean won rose 0.3 percent after
falling over 1 percent over the past two days, while the Thai
baht also gained 0.2 percent on the day.
    China's yuan firmed as market sentiment recovered
from fears that the arrest of senior Huawei executive could
spark a re-escalation in the U.S.-China trade war. 
    A recent Reuters poll showed China's yuan will breach the 7
per dollar level within the next six months, and also predicted
authorities would continue to exert control over the currency in
2019.

    
    INDONESIAN RUPIAH
    The Indonesian rupiah rose 0.4 percent against the dollar on
Friday, helped by a surge in local stock markets.
    The rupiah has lost over 1 percent this week and was set for
its biggest weekly decline in over two months.
    Foreigners have sold about $76 million worth of Indonesian
equities over the last two days, exchange data showed.
    On Thursday, Indonesia's central bank intervened in the
domestic non-deliverable forward (NDF) market to support the
rupiah.
    "(Intervention in NDF markets) will help delay, but not
eliminate the demand for dollars,” said Frances Cheung, head of
macro strategy at Westpac
    The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar at 0555 GMT.
    CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
   Change as of  0555                           
          GMT                              
  Currency               Latest  Previous    Pct
                            bid       day   Move
  Japan yen             112.900    112.66  -0.21
  Sing dlr              1.369      1.3692  +0.01
  Taiwan dlr            30.829     30.857  +0.09
  Korean won            1117.90    1120.3  +0.21
                        0                  
  Baht                  32.810      32.83  +0.06
  Peso                  52.679      52.76  +0.15
  Rupiah                14465.0     14515  +0.35
                        00                 
  Rupee                 70.588      70.90  +0.44
  Ringgit               4.160       4.162  +0.05
  Yuan                  6.877      6.8820  +0.08
                                                
  Change so far in                              
 2018                                      
  Currency              Latest   End 2017    Pct
                        bid                 Move
  Japan yen             112.900    112.67  -0.20
  Sing dlr              1.369      1.3373  -2.32
  Taiwan dlr            30.829     29.848  -3.18
  Korean won            1117.90   1070.50  -4.24
                        0                  
  Baht                  32.810      32.58  -0.70
  Peso                  52.679      49.93  -5.22
  Rupiah                14465.0     13565  -6.22
                        00                 
  Rupee                 70.588      63.87  -9.52
  Ringgit               4.160      4.0440  -2.79
  Yuan                  6.877      6.5069  -5.37
 
 (Reporting by Patturaja Murugaboopathy in Bengaluru; Additional
Reporting by Vatsal Srivastava in Singapore; Editing by Sam
Holmes)
  
 
 
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