December 24, 2018 / 5:38 AM / 5 months ago

EM ASIA FX-Most Asian currencies subdued as US political uncertainty dampens sentiment

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Aditya Soni
    Dec 24 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies barely moved in
holiday-thinned trade on Monday, as political uncertainty in the
United States at a time of heightened anxiety over a global
economic slowdown curbed risk appetite.
    As a government shutdown in the world's largest economy
looked likely to extend into the new year, most investors were
reluctant to make any big bets.
    "Sentiment has been dented by news of a government shutdown,
as (President Donald) Trump and Democrat House Leaders were
unable to agree on funding for the Mexican border wall," Mizuho
Bank analysts said in a client note.
    The Thai baht and Singapore dollar were the
best performer with small gains of 0.20 percent each. 
    The Chinese yuan firmed 0.1 percent. Earlier in
the day, the world's second largest economy announced
adjustments in some import and export tariffs for 2019 in a bid
to boost foreign trade as the economy slows.
    The yuan has managed to largely stabilise in recent months 
after earlier coming under intense pressure on worries a
weakening economy could trigger large-scale capital outflows. 
It is still down nearly 6 percent to the greenback so far this
    Global slowdown fears have kept many of the Asian currencies
under pressure this year, with capital-flow and deficit
financing fears sending the likes of the Indonesian rupiah and
Indian rupee sharply lower.
    Export-reliant economies such as Taiwan and South Korea have
also seen their currencies slide as investors fretted over the
broadening impact of a Sino-U.S. trade war. 
     The Indonesian currency markets were closed for a public
holiday. The Indian rupee was off 0.1 percent.  
     Elsewhere, the Korean won led losers with a
decline of 0.3 percent, while the Philippine peso slid
0.2 percent.
    The Singapore dollar trimmed some of its gains earlier in
the session after core inflation figure - a gauge more closely
watched by policymakers - eased more than expected to 1.7
percent in November.
     Monetary Authority of Singapore has tightened policy in
both of its semi-annual meetings this year and expects the
city-state's economy to expand steadily barring a setback to
global growth from trade frictions between the United States and

    The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar at 0528 GMT.
 Currency                     Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
 Japan yen                    111.090     111.21        +0.11
 Sing dlr                     1.373       1.3745        +0.15
 Taiwan dlr                   30.826      30.824        -0.01
 Korean won                   1125.300    1122.4        -0.26
 Baht                         32.610      32.66         +0.15
 Peso                         52.980      52.9          -0.15
 Rupee                        70.238      70.15         -0.13
 Ringgit                      4.182       4.179         -0.07
 Yuan                         6.900       6.9070        +0.10
 Change so far in 2018                                  
 Currency                     Latest bid  End 2017      Pct Move
 Japan yen                    111.090     112.67        +1.42
 Sing dlr                     1.373       1.3373        -2.56
 Taiwan dlr                   30.826      29.848        -3.17
 Korean won                   1125.300    1070.50       -4.87
 Baht                         32.610      32.58         -0.09
 Peso                         52.980      49.977        -5.67
 Rupiah                       14550.000   13565         -6.77
 Rupee                        70.238      63.87         -9.07
 Ringgit                      4.182       4.0440        -3.30
 Yuan                         6.900       6.5069        -5.70
 (Reporting by Aditya Soni in Bengaluru)
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