September 25, 2019 / 7:04 AM / a month ago

EM ASIA FX-Most Asian currencies slip as Trump impeachment inquiry adds to global woes

    * Thai cenbank rate decision due today
    * Philippine cbank rate decision on Thursday
    * Korean won declines most 

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Shreya Mariam Job
    Sept 25 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies edged lower on
Wednesday as investors, already frazzled by global trade and
recession worries, faced new risks from the launch of a formal
impeachment inquiry into U.S. President Donald Trump.  
    Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday
launched the inquiry, accusing Trump of seeking foreign help to
smear Democratic rival Joe Biden ahead of next year's election.

    The political uncertainty put the greenback on the defensive
and further dented investor sentiment already shaken by the
protracted Sino-U.S. trade dispute, Brexit unease and global
growth worries.  
    And at the United Nations on Tuesday, harsh comments by
Trump on China's trade practices only served to reinforce fears
the U.S.-China trade war will drag on for a while longer.

    Khoon Goh, head of Asia research at ANZ Banking Group
(Singapore), said the impeachment move had dampened the mood. 
"The fall in the equity markets (Asian) was offset by the dollar
weakness, which is why Asian currencies have largely traded
muted so far," he added.
    Goh sees no big swings in regional currencies over the next
couple of days on bets the yuan will remain steady
going into a week-long national holiday next week.
    On the events front in Asia, investors awaited central bank
decisions from Thailand later in the day and Philippines on
Thursday. 
    The Thai baht weakened marginally ahead of the
policy review, with economists expecting the benchmark interest
rate to be held steady.
    The Philippine peso was steady. A Reuters poll
forecast the nation's central bank will likely cut interest
rates for the third time this year.    
    
    S.KOREAN WON
    The South Korean won weakened the most among
regional currencies, losing as much as 0.3% against the dollar.
    The protracted Sino-U.S. trade war and a dispute between
South Korea and Japan have undermined the currency, with dismal
export data from earlier this week adding to the downward
pressure.
    The won is the worst performer among its Asian peers this
year, slumping just over 7.0% so far. 
    
    The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar at 0623 GMT.
    
    CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
    
 Change on the day at   0623 GMT                  
 Currency               Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
 Japan yen              107.320     107.05        -0.25
 Sing dlr               1.377       1.3754        -0.09
 Taiwan dlr             31.014      31.013        -0.00
 Korean won             1198.600    1195.7        -0.24
 Baht                   30.590      30.55         -0.13
 Peso                   52.250      52.24         -0.02
 Rupiah                 14135.000   14110         -0.18
 Rupee                  71.050      71.01         -0.06
 Ringgit                4.186       4.18          -0.14
 Yuan                   7.116       7.1160        +0.01
                                                  
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Currency               Latest bid  End 2018      Pct Move
 Japan yen              107.320     109.56        +2.09
 Sing dlr               1.377       1.3627        -1.02
 Taiwan dlr             31.014      30.733        -0.91
 Korean won             1198.600    1115.70       -6.92
 Baht                   30.590      32.55         +6.41
 Peso                   52.250      52.47         +0.42
 Rupiah                 14135.000   14375         +1.70
 Rupee                  71.050      69.77         -1.80
 Ringgit                4.186       4.1300        -1.34
 Yuan                   7.116       6.8730        -3.41
 

 (Reporting by Shreya Mariam Job in Bengaluru
Editing by Shri Navaratnam)
  
 
 
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