February 23, 2018 / 7:08 AM / in 4 months

EM ASIA FX-Most Asian currencies rise as risk appetites return

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Patturaja  Murugaboopathy 
    Feb 23 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies recovered some of
their recent losses on Friday as a retreat in U.S. Treasury
yields boosted risk appetites and pushed regional assets higher.
    In a sign of improved sentiment, MSCI's broadest index of
Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up about 1
percent on Friday.
    A day earlier, the minutes of the Federal Reserve's January
meeting dented Asian shares and currencies, on fears they might
presage more aggressive U.S. rate hikes this year.
    But then that sentiment started to fade, with a few analysts
saying the minutes were not completely "hawkish".
    "The minutes were far more balanced than the equity market
sell-off suggested," said Stephen Innes, head of trading for
Asia-Pacific at futures brokerage OANDA.
    "The discussions about their inflation target being
symmetric indicate that the Feds are less concerned about the
updraft from inflationary pressures than current market
    The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield was last trading at 2.928
percent. It dropped to as low as 2.904 percent on Thursday after
hitting a four-year high of 2.957 earlier this week.
    The South Korean won and the Philippine peso
 rose about half a percent each on Friday, with the
latter set to post its first weekly gain in seven weeks.
    The peso hit a 11-1/2 year low against the dollar at the
start of the week, and since then traders took profits by
selling dollars.
    The Indian rupee, which was up more than 0.25
percent on the day, was set for its worst weekly decline in five
months as concerns over widening trade deficit and growing
fallout from the $1.8 billion Punjab National Bank fraud. [
    Also, minutes from the last policy meeting of India's
central bank, which showed increasing concern among members
about accelerating inflation, undermined the rupee further.
    The Thai baht, Singapore dollar and the
Indonesian rupiah were also on track to post losses for
the week. 
    The dollar index, up 0.2 percent on the day,  was on
track to gain about 1 percent this week. It touched a three-year
low last week.
    This week, the dollar has started to track the U.S. bond
yields again after moving away in the past few weeks. 
    Some analysts said this could reinforce dollar strength and
impact regional currencies in the coming days.
    The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar at 0633 GMT.
    Change as of                               
      0633 GMT                         
  Currency           Latest  Previous  Pct Move
                        bid       day  
  Japan yen          106.95    106.74     -0.20
  Sing dlr           1.322     1.3190     -0.26
  Taiwan dlr         29.289    29.301     +0.04
  Korean won         1079.0    1084.3     +0.49
  Baht               31.460     31.54     +0.25
  Peso               51.880      52.1     +0.42
  Rupiah             13670.     13680     +0.07
  Rupee              64.840     65.04     +0.31
  Ringgit            3.908      3.915     +0.19
  Yuan               6.343     6.3565     +0.21
  Change so far in                             
  Currency           Latest  End 2017  Pct Move
  Japan yen          106.95    112.67     +5.35
  Sing dlr           1.322     1.3373     +1.13
  Taiwan dlr         29.289    29.848     +1.91
  Korean won         1079.0   1070.50     -0.79
  Baht               31.460     32.58     +3.56
  Peso               51.880     49.93     -3.76
  Rupiah             13670.     13565     -0.77
  Rupee              64.840     63.87     -1.50
  Ringgit            3.908     4.0440     +3.49
  Yuan               6.343     6.5069     +2.59
 (Reporting by Patturaja Murugaboopathy in Bengaluru; Additional
reporting by Gaurav Dogra; Editing by Richard Borsuk)
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