May 15, 2020 / 7:01 AM / 13 days ago

EM ASIA FX-Most Asian currencies stuck in tight range, Philippine peso drops

    * Chinese yuan on track to post biggest weekly loss in a
    * Typhoon Vongfong moves toward the Philippine island of
    * HSBC cuts global economic growth forecast

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Anushka Trivedi
    May 15 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies traded in a tight
range on Friday, as data showing China's economy is gradually
recovering from the coronavirus shock countered worries over
worsening Sino-U.S. relations.
    Market participants are increasingly worried about tensions
between the world's two top economies as U.S. President Donald
Trump blames China for the novel coronavirus that has killed
more than 85,000 Americans. 
    Trump said he had no interest in speaking to his Chinese
counterpart Xi Jinping right now and suggested he could even cut
ties with the world's second-largest economy.
    Meanwhile, China's industrial output expanded for the first
time this year as the economy slowly emerged from coronavirus
lockdowns. It rose 3.9% last month from a year earlier, far
exceeding expectations, but retail sales and services activity
continued to contract.
    The Chinese yuan slipped 0.1% and was on its way
to its biggest weekly drop in a month.
    The trade-reliant Singapore dollar and the South
Korean won, both highly sensitive to China's economic
fortunes, shed up to 0.2% each. 
    The won has particularly come under pressure due to a spike
in new virus cases after restrictions were relaxed, and was set
to post a weekly drop of 0.8%.
    Investors are closely watching China for clues on how long
demand will take to bounce back as other countries start
relaxing lockdown measures.
    However, analysts are less optimistic about a rapid demand
recovery. Mizuho Bank's Riki Ogawa wrote the "fact is, even as
economies prepare to emerge from varying degrees of lockdowns,
restoration of 'normalcy' is a much longer road."
    "Threats of second wave of infections across Asia serve as a
sobering warning against complacency about normalcy, just as
complacency about the U.S.-China Phase 1 deal leading to
normalcy in global trade has backfired."   
    HSBC slashed an already bleak global and emerging market
growth forecast further, as lockdown restrictions extended
through April and tentative economic re-openings drag on a
return to business, trade and spending.
    The Philippine peso weakened 0.5% to see its worst
session in two weeks as several media outlets reported here
 a severe Typhoon Vongfong was moving toward the main island of
Luzon, forcing people to flee to evacuation centres.
    The Indonesian rupiah firmed slightly after declining
0.3% earlier in the session. It was set to post a weekly gain of
    Data showed Indonesia logged a trade deficit in April after
two straight months of surpluses as exports and imports
continued to shrink due to disruption caused by the virus
    The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar at 0600 GMT.    
  Currency                 Latest bid  Previous day   Pct Move
  Japan yen                107.230           107.24      +0.01
  Sing dlr                 1.424             1.4232      -0.08
  Taiwan dlr               29.903            29.948      +0.15
  Korean won               1230.100            1228      -0.17
  Baht                     32.060             32.11      +0.16
  Peso                     50.735             50.48      -0.50
  Rupiah                   14825.000          14840      +0.10
  Rupee                    75.525             75.56      +0.05
  Ringgit                  4.343              4.338      -0.12
  Yuan                     7.102             7.0940      -0.11
  Change so far in 2020                                       
  Currency                 Latest bid  End 2019       Pct Move
  Japan yen                107.230           108.61      +1.29
  Sing dlr                 1.424             1.3444      -5.62
  Taiwan dlr               29.903            30.106      +0.68
  Korean won               1230.100         1156.40      -5.99
  Baht                     32.060             29.91      -6.71
  Peso                     50.735             50.65      -0.17
  Rupiah                   14825.000          13880      -6.37
  Rupee                    75.525             71.38      -5.49
  Ringgit                  4.343             4.0890      -5.85
  Yuan                     7.102             6.9632      -1.95
 (Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru; Editing by
Subhranshu Sahu)
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