August 29, 2017 / 5:38 AM / a year ago

EM ASIA FX-Most Asian currencies slip after N.Korea fires missile over Japan

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Christina Martin
    Aug 29 (Reuters) - Most emerging Asian currencies slipped on
Tuesday after North Korea fired a missile over northern Japan,
fuelling worries of fresh tension between Washington and
    North Korea has conducted dozens of ballistic missile tests
under young leader Kim Jong-Un, but firing projectiles over
mainland Japan is its first since 2009.
    North Korea had threatened earlier this month to fire
missiles into the sea near the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam, a
host to major U.S. military installations, after President
Donald Trump warned Pyongyang would face "fire and fury" if it
threatened the United States.
    "Markets are on the defensive today... This (missile launch
over Japan) forced some short-covering in the dollar that was
heavily sold after Jackson Hole last Friday," said Philip Sung
Seng Wee, a senior currency economist at DBS Bank Ltd.
    "Everyone is waiting for the United States and China to
respond, and wary of any fiery rhetoric from Trump escalating
    Investors are looking to how Trump will react to North
Korea, and to his push for tax reforms. He is expected to begin
a major effort this week to convince the public of the need for
    The Korean won fell 0.5 percent and was the worst
performer in the region. 
    In the spot market, the onshore yuan opened at
6.6240 per dollar and was changing hands at 6.6087 at midday, 37
pips softer than the Monday late session close but 0.31 percent
stronger than the midpoint.
    Bucking the trend, the Thai baht rose to its
highest since April 30, 2015, and was headed for a fourth
straight session of gains.
    Thailand's central bank said on Tuesday there was no need at
present to introduce capital controls or additional measures to
curb the baht's strength.
    The won dropped after North Korea fired a missile
that flew over the northern region of Japan, escalating tensions
on the Korean peninsula.
    South Korea's finance ministry said it will monitor
financial markets and act to stabilise markets if needed after
Pyongyang's latest missile test, which led to a fresh bout of
    The won stood at 1,125 against the dollar, down 0.5 percent
from Monday's close.    
    The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar at 0501 GMT.
  Currency               Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
  Japan yen              108.80            109.24     +0.40
  Sing dlr               1.3540            1.3534     -0.04
  Taiwan dlr             30.188            30.162     -0.09
  Korean won             1125              1120.1     -0.47
  Baht                   33.198             33.21     +0.04
  Peso                   51.140             51.08     -0.12
  Rupiah                 13344              13339     -0.04
  Rupee                  63.94              63.90     -0.06
  Ringgit                4.266              4.266     +0.00
  Yuan                   6.609             6.6050     -0.06
  Change so far in 2017                                    
  Currency               Latest bid   End 2016     Pct Move
  Japan yen              108.80            117.07     +7.60
  Sing dlr               1.3540            1.4490     +7.02
  Taiwan dlr             30.188            32.279     +6.93
  Korean won             1125             1207.70     +7.31
  Baht                   33.198             35.80     +7.84
  Peso                   51.140             49.72     -2.78
  Rupiah                 13344              13470     +0.94
  Rupee                  63.940             67.92     +6.22
  Ringgit                4.266             4.4845     +5.12
  Yuan                   6.609             6.9467     +5.11

 (Reporting By Christina Martin in Bengaluru; Editing by
Subhranshu Sahu)
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