October 18, 2019 / 5:55 AM / a month ago

EM ASIA FX-Most Asian currencies strengthen on Brexit, trade hopes

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    Oct 18 (Reuters) - Asia's trade-reliant currencies gained
against the dollar on Friday, as Britain won European Union
approval for a no-delay divorce deal and China expressed
confidence about clinching a phased trade pact with the United
States.
    China's Commerce Ministry said on Thursday it hopes to reach
a phased agreement with the United States and cancel tariffs as
soon as possible, adding that trade wars had no winners.

    That came as a relief to market participants after the new
measures passed by the U.S. House of Representatives earlier
this week related to pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong were
expected to put some strain on the trade talks.
    Meanwhile, European Union leaders gave their unanimous
backing to a Brexit deal with Britain on Thursday, putting the
onus on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to secure the British
parliament's approval for the deal in a vote in two days' time. 

    "The bigger driver has been the positive spillover effect
from UK getting close to a Brexit deal," said Khoon Goh, head of
Asia research at ANZ in Singapore. 
    "The ongoing phase-1 deal between the U.S. and China is
still contributing towards a bit more optimism for Asian
currencies."
    Leading the gains in Asia, the South Korean won
rose 0.5% against the dollar and was on track for a  third
consecutive weekly advance.
    Among other export-reliant currencies, the Taiwanese dollar
 and the Thai baht rose 0.24% and 0.13%,
respectively. 
    On other hand, China's yuan inched lower after
economic growth slowed more than expected to 6.0% in the third
quarter from a year earlier, the weakest pace in at least 27-1/2
years. 
    "The economic data surprised a bit... But that was not
material enough to cause too much of a concern," said ANZ's Goh.
    "But we did have some improvement in industrial production.
So that helped to offset some of the disappointment in the GDP
numbers."
    China's industrial output grew a better-than-expected 5.8%
in September, faster than the 17-year-low posted in August.

    Lower oil prices pressured the Malaysian ringgit,
while fiscal and economic worries pulled down the Indian rupee
. Both currencies shed about 0.1% on the day.
    India is likely to miss its fiscal deficit target of 3.3% of
gross domestic product for the current financial year by 30-50
basis points, two sources said, due to a sharp slowdown in the
economy that has severely crimped tax collection goals.

    
    The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar at 0508 GMT.
    CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
 Change on the day at                                      
        0508 GMT                                  
  Currency              Latest bid  Previous day   Pct Move
  Japan yen             108.560           108.65      +0.08
  Sing dlr              1.364             1.3644      +0.02
  Taiwan dlr            30.609            30.681      +0.24
  Korean won            1180.500            1187      +0.55
  Baht                  30.270             30.31      +0.13
  Peso                  51.320             51.34      +0.04
  Rupiah                14140.000          14143      +0.02
  Rupee                 71.208             71.16      -0.07
  Ringgit               4.182              4.178      -0.10
  Yuan                  7.078             7.0772      -0.00
                                                           
 Change so far in 2019                                     
  Currency              Latest bid  End 2018       Pct Move
  Japan yen             108.560           109.56      +0.92
  Sing dlr              1.364             1.3627      -0.10
  Taiwan dlr            30.609            30.733      +0.41
  Korean won            1180.500         1115.70      -5.49
  Baht                  30.270             32.55      +7.53
  Peso                  51.320             52.47      +2.24
  Rupiah                14140.000          14375      +1.66
  Rupee                 71.208             69.77      -2.02
  Ringgit               4.182             4.1300      -1.24
  Yuan                  7.078             6.8730      -2.89
 
 (Reporting By Patturaja  Murugaboopathy; Editing by Subhranshu
Sahu)
  
 
 
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