August 26, 2019 / 5:53 AM / 21 days ago

EM ASIA FX-Most Asian units slip as Sino-U.S. trade tensions spike

    * Chinese yuan, Korean won and Indian rupee fall most
    * Thai baht sole gainer in the region
    * Trade conflict may last for extended period -DBS

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Rashmi Ashok
    Aug 26 (Reuters) - Most emerging Asian currencies slipped on
Monday, tracking the broader sell-off in equity markets, as
investors scurried away from risky assets amid intensifying
Sino-U.S. trade tensions.
    U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday heaped an additional
5% duty on some $550 billion in targeted Chinese goods, just
hours after China unveiled tariffs on $75 billion worth of U.S.
goods.
    The news shook global markets, leading to sharp sell-offs
across Asian equities and a slump in crude prices, following
Wall Street's nose-dive on Friday.
    "It can probably be assumed that tit-for-tat will be the
default strategy in the coming months and reinforces the point
that this conflict will probably last for an extended period,"
DBS Economics and Strategy noted.
    The Korean won, Chinese yuan and
Indian rupee were the session's worst performers, all
shedding over 0.6%.
    The rupee weakened to as low as 72.170 against the dollar,
hovering at an 8-month trough it touched on Friday.
    However, the yuan's losses were curtailed after China fixed
the yuan's midpoint at a relatively steady 7.0570 per dollar,
when it had been trading as weak as 7.1850 offshore.
    Meanwhile, the Thai baht was the region's sole
gainer, adding 0.4%.
    OCBC said it expects currencies of countries with a current
account deficit such as India, Philippines and Indonesia to
remain inherently vulnerable in the current environment.
    This leaves the Thai baht more sheltered and in a position
to outperform the rest of Asia, it added.
    The baht is the region's top performer this year, gaining
6.4% so far, owing to a weak dollar, strong foreign fund inflows
and its large current account surplus.
    While the Philippine equity market was closed on
account of a holiday, the peso traded marginally lower
amid thin volumes, posting the session's smallest loss.
    

    The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar at 0507 GMT.
    CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
    
 Currency               Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
 Japan yen              105.260     105.39        +0.12
 Sing dlr               1.389       1.3868        -0.17
 Taiwan dlr             31.493      31.402        -0.29
 Korean won             1218.200    1210.6        -0.62
 Baht                   30.590      30.7          +0.36
 Peso                   52.500      52.45         -0.10
 Rupiah                 14260.000   14210         -0.35
 Rupee                  72.090      71.66         -0.60
 Ringgit                4.205       4.19          -0.36
 Yuan                   7.144       7.0979        -0.65
                                                  
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Currency               Latest bid  End 2018      Pct Move
 Japan yen              105.260     109.56        +4.09
 Sing dlr               1.389       1.3627        -1.90
 Taiwan dlr             31.493      30.733        -2.41
 Korean won             1218.200    1115.70       -8.41
 Baht                   30.590      32.55         +6.41
 Peso                   52.500      52.47         -0.06
 Rupiah                 14260.000   14375         +0.81
 Rupee                  72.090      69.77         -3.22
 Ringgit                4.205       4.1300        -1.78
 Yuan                   7.144       6.8730        -3.80
 

 (Reporting by Rashmi Ashok in Bengaluru)
  
 
 
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