January 18, 2018 / 5:56 AM / 3 months ago

EM ASIA FX-Most Asian currencies slip as dollar edges off 3-year lows

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Patturaja  Murugaboopathy 
    Jan 18 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies weakened on
Thursday, with the dollar gaining after European Central Bank
officials voiced concerns about euro strength and Apple Inc
 said it planned to repatriate billions of dollars to
the United States.
    The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies
 was up 0.3 percent at 90.840, getting some respite after
slipping to three-year lows.
    The euro nursed losses on Thursday, after slipping
overnight on ECB policymaker Ewald Nowotny's comments the euro's
recent strength against the dollar is "not helpful".
    Apple said it would open a new campus as part of a
five-year, $30 billion U.S. investment plan and would make about
$38 billion in one-time tax payments on its overseas cash, one
of the largest corporate spending plans announced since the
passage of a tax cut signed by U.S. President Donald Trump.

    "Repatriated earnings from overseas to the U.S. should lend
a boost to the dollar, but the jolt is likely to be a one-off
factor amid a broader downtrend." a Maybank report said on
Thursday.
    Sean Yokota, head of Asia strategy at Skandinaviska Enskilda
Banken, said investors were taking profits in Asian currencies
after their strong gains against the dollar this year and
expected this trend to continue over the next month.
    The Malaysian ringgit, this year's biggest gainer
against the dollar in the region, fell 0.1 percent on the day.
    The South Korean won also declined after its
central bank kept interest rates unchanged on Thursday.
    The central bank upgraded its 2018 growth forecast but
flagged concerns about economic uncertainties and soft
inflation, which remain hurdles to policy tightening this year.

    China's yuan eased after the central bank set
lower guidance for the first time in six trading days.
 
    Bucking the trend, the Thai baht edged up,
bolstered by foreign buying. Exchange data showed foreigners
bought about $70 million in Thai equities and $338 million in
its debt markets on Wednesday.
    Investors were awaiting the release of China's
fourth-quarter and 2017 gross domestic product data, and also
December factor output, retail sales and fixed-asset investment
data at 0700 GMT.
    The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar at 0522 GMT.
    
    CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
    Change as of                                 
      0522 GMT                           
  Currency           Latest    Previous  Pct Move
                        bid         day  
  Japan yen          111.17      111.28     +0.10
                     0                   
  Sing dlr           1.323       1.3244     +0.08
  Taiwan dlr         29.563      29.560     -0.01
  Korean won         1070.7      1069.3     -0.13
                     00                  
  Baht               31.880       31.94     +0.19
  Peso               50.775      50.705     -0.14
  Rupiah             13353.       13355     +0.01
                     000                 
  Rupee              63.805       63.88     +0.12
  Ringgit            3.956        3.952     -0.10
  Yuan               6.438       6.4335     -0.06
                                                 
  Change so far in                               
 2018                                    
  Currency           Latest  End 2017    Pct Move
                     bid                 
  Japan yen          111.17      112.67     +1.35
                     0                   
  Sing dlr           1.323       1.3373     +1.06
  Taiwan dlr         29.563      29.848     +0.96
  Korean won         1070.7     1070.50     -0.02
                     00                  
  Baht               31.880       32.58     +2.20
  Peso               50.775       49.93     -1.66
  Rupiah             13353.       13565     +1.59
                     000                 
  Rupee              63.805       63.87     +0.10
  Ringgit            3.956       4.0440     +2.22
  Yuan               6.438       6.5069     +1.08
 
 (Reporting by Patturaja Murugaboopathy in Bengaluru; Editing by
Jacqueline Wong)
  
 
 
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