January 8, 2019 / 5:25 AM / 6 months ago

EM ASIA FX-Most Asian units slip as dollar steadies; won, rupee top losers

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Aby Jose Koilparambil
    Jan 8 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies inched down on
Tuesday as the dollar steadied after three sessions of losses,
helped by positive signals about ongoing Sino-U.S. trade talks.
    U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross predicted Beijing and
Washington could reach a "reasonable settlement" as officials
from the world's two largest economies resumed talks in a bid to
end a dispute that has roiled global markets.
    As the talks' first day ended on Monday, Chinese importers
made a third large purchase of U.S. soybeans in the past month,
Chicago-based traders said. 
    Barring any negative events, emerging market currencies
could enter a comfortable period in the short term as
expectations of no further U.S. Federal Reserve rate hikes for a
prolonged period is likely to keep the greenback under pressure.
    "We look for the dollar to continue to bleed lower in the
short term. The key 200-week moving average for the dollar at
95.90 may remain a pivot point," OCBC Bank said in a note on
    Some investors are convinced the U.S. will not raise
interest rates this year over domestic growth worries after
dovish statements by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell on Friday.
    The Korean won declined as much as 0.6 percent
after South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, the 
world's biggest maker of smartphones and semiconductors, on
Tuesday estimated a 29 percent drop in operating profit for
October-December, its first decline in two years.
    Higher oil prices put the region's net importers under
pressure, with the Indian rupee weakening as much as
0.6 percent to 70.11 against the dollar.
    Oil prices edged up on Tuesday, supported by hopes that for
U.S.-Chinese talks in Beijing, while the start of OPEC-led
supply cuts also tightened markets.
    The Indonesian rupiah, another currency impacted by
oil prices, erased initial gains and slipped 0.2 percent.
    The Thai baht weakened as much as 0.3 percent while
the Chinese yuan shed 0.1 percent.
    The Taiwanese dollar edged down 0.1 percent to
30.84 against the dollar. 
    Taiwan on Monday reported a 3 percent decline in December
exports from a year earlier, reflecting the impact of the
U.S.-China trade war and weaker global demand for tech gadgets.

    Later on Tuesday, Taiwan will report December inflation,
which is expected to have cooled. 
    The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar at 0512 GMT.
 Currency                     Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
 Japan yen                    108.950     108.7         -0.23
 Sing dlr                     1.358       1.3560        -0.17
 Taiwan dlr                   30.839      30.812        -0.09
 Korean won                   1124.800    1118.6        -0.55
 Baht                         32.070      32            -0.22
 Peso                         52.380      52.58         +0.38
 Rupiah                       14110.000   14085         -0.18
 Rupee                        70.105      69.68         -0.61
 Ringgit                      4.109       4.113         +0.10
 Yuan                         6.857       6.8505        -0.10
 Change so far in 2019                                  
 Currency                     Latest bid  End 2018      Pct Move
 Japan yen                    108.950     109.56        +0.56
 Sing dlr                     1.358       1.3627        +0.32
 Taiwan dlr                   30.839      30.733        -0.34
 Korean won                   1124.800    1115.70       -0.81
 Baht                         32.070      32.55         +1.50
 Peso                         52.380      52.58         +0.38
 Rupiah                       14110.000   14375         +1.88
 Rupee                        70.105      69.77         -0.48
 Ringgit                      4.109       4.1300        +0.51
 Yuan                         6.857       6.8730        +0.23
 (Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; Editing by
Richard Borsuk)
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