January 9, 2018 / 5:51 AM / 10 days ago

EM ASIA FX-Most Asian currencies subdued, Philippine peso falls to near 3-wk low

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Aditya Soni
    Jan 9 (Reuters) - Most emerging Asian currencies made only
modest moves on Tuesday, with gains capped as a retreat in the
euro helped the U.S. dollar strengthen against most of its
counterparts.
    The greenback rose to a more than one-week high against a
basket of other major currencies on Monday, supported by a fall
in the euro as investors were cautious after a months-long
rally.
    "I think this is a bit of a reversal of the trend that we
have seen in the last few weeks, wherein most Asian currencies
had been doing quite well as the U.S. dollar was in decline,"
said Vishnu Varathan, senior economist at Mizuho Bank.
    "But now the dollar has rebounded, particularly against the
euro...I think the impetus for Asian currencies to push on
without a strong backer isn't compelling."
    However, a full-blown correction in local currencies is
unlikely as Asian equities remain attractive to investors.
Varathan believes Tuesday's lacklustre movements in currencies
were a "measured correction", instead of "a brutal sell-off".
    Asian shares edged higher on Tuesday, approaching record
highs, with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside
Japan rising 0.2 percent to 590.89, not far from
its record peak of 591.50 scaled in November 2007.
    The Philippine peso weakened the most among the
regional currencies, slipping 0.2 percent to a near three-week
low.
    The Japanese yen was the top percentage gainer in the
region, after the Bank of Japan trimmed its buying of long-dated
Japanese government bonds in market operations. 
    The Indain rupee firmed 0.1 percent, while the
Indonesian rupiah strengthened slightly. 
    The Taiwan dollar traded flat. Data released on
Monday showed that the island's exports climbed to a record
amount in December, boosting confidence solid global technology
demand will keep economic growth steady this year. 
    
    MALAYSIAN RINGGIT 
    The Malaysian ringgit shed 0.1 percent, on track for
its first loss in six sessions. The ringgit has been the best
performing emerging Asian currency so far this year, underpinned
by stronger oil prices.
    Oil prices hit their highest since 2015 again on Tuesday,
though some warned the rally could run out of steam.
     
    The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar on Tuesday.
    
 CURRENCIES VS U.S.                                     
   DOLLAR                                               
 Change on the day at   0510 GMT                        
 Currency                     Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
 Japan yen                    112.590     113.08        +0.44
 Sing dlr                     1.332       1.3321        +0.00
 Taiwan dlr                   29.520      29.523        +0.01
 Korean won                   1065.900    1066          +0.01
 Baht                         32.205      32.22         +0.05
 Peso                         50.260      50.15         -0.22
 Rupiah                       13420.000   13426         +0.04
 Rupee                        63.463      63.51         +0.07
 Ringgit                      3.998       3.995         -0.08
 Yuan                         6.502       6.4984        -0.06
                                                        
 Change so far                                          
 Currency                     Latest bid  End 2017      Pct Move
 Japan yen                    112.590     112.67        +0.07
 Sing dlr                     1.332       1.3373        +0.39
 Taiwan dlr                   29.520      29.848        +1.11
 Korean won                   1065.900    1070.50       +0.43
 Baht                         32.205      32.58         +1.16
 Peso                         50.260      49.93         -0.66
 Rupiah                       13420.000   13565         +1.08
 Rupee                        63.463      63.87         +0.64
 Ringgit                      3.998       4.0440        +1.15
 Yuan                         6.502       6.5069        +0.08
 
 (Reporting by Aditya Soni in Bengaluru; Editing by Sam Holmes)
  
 
 
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