November 13, 2019 / 5:50 AM / 2 months ago

EM ASIA FX-Most Asian units weaken on fresh doubts about U.S.-China trade deal

    * S. Korean won top loser, softens up to 0.7%
    * Philippine cenbank likely to leave rates on hold - poll
    * India rupee eases to 2-mth low, Oct CPI awaited 

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Niyati Shetty
    Nov 13 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies eased on Wednesday
as lack of clarity on the prospects for a trade deal between the
United States and China dampened risk sentiment. 
    U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday, in a much awaited
speech on his administration's economic policies, said
Washington and Beijing were "close" to a phase one deal but gave
no information on the negotiations.    
    The Chinese yuan softened up to 0.3% to a
one-week low of 7.027 per dollar. 
    Further unnerving markets, the president added that he would
further raise tariffs on Chinese goods if a deal was not signed.
    "Considering that much of the optimism surrounding the trade
deal has been priced in, this suggests that the upside for Asian
currencies appear limited, with potential gains further muted by
the dollar's resilience," said Han Tan, market analyst at FXTM. 
    Hopes for an imminent deal has lifted the dollar 1% this
week to a one-month high of 98.423 overnight against a basket of
    South Korea's won led declines among its Asian
peers, easing as much as 0.7% to a near two-week low. 
    The won is the worst performing unit in the region this
year, as the tech-exports reliant economy is highly susceptible
to developments in the protracted trade spat. 
    Meanwhile, South Korea's top government think-tank on
Wednesday called on the central bank to cut interest rates
further and slashed its economic growth and inflation forecasts
for this and next year. 
    Bank of Korea has trimmed rates twice so far this year to
1.25%, with its next policy meet due at the end of November. 
    Declines in the Philippine peso were limited as the
country's central bank looks certain to leave its policy rate
unchanged on Thursday after strong growth in the third quarter,
a Reuters poll showed.
    The Malaysian ringgit, the Taiwan dollar and
the Indonesian rupiah each eased about 0.2%. 
    The Indian rupee faltered as much as much 0.4% to a near
two-month low, as investors fear that the country's economic
slowdown is deep-rooted and interest rate cuts alone may not be
enough to revive growth.
    Data released on Monday showed India's industrial output
fell at the fastest pace in over six years in September. 
    Markets now await India's retail inflation data, due later
in the day, which has probably exceeded the central bank's
medium-term target of 4% in October for the first time in
    Financial markets in India were closed for a holiday on
    The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar at 0514 GMT.
 Currency               Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
 Japan yen              109.060     109           -0.06
 Sing dlr               1.362       1.3619        -0.02
 Taiwan dlr             30.471      30.422        -0.16
 Korean won             1168.400    1160.8        -0.65
 Baht                   30.310      30.325        +0.05
 Peso                   50.850      50.83         -0.04
 Rupiah                 14075.000   14050         -0.18
 Rupee                  71.700      71.46         -0.34
 Ringgit                4.151       4.141         -0.24
 Yuan                   7.018       7.0073        -0.16
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Currency               Latest bid  End 2018      Pct Move
 Japan yen              109.060     109.56        +0.46
 Sing dlr               1.362       1.3627        +0.04
 Taiwan dlr             30.471      30.733        +0.86
 Korean won             1168.400    1115.70       -4.51
 Baht                   30.310      32.55         +7.39
 Peso                   50.850      52.47         +3.19
 Rupiah                 14075.000   14375         +2.13
 Rupee                  71.700      69.77         -2.69
 Ringgit                4.151       4.1300        -0.51
 Yuan                   7.018       6.8730        -2.07
 (Reporting by Niyati Shetty in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh
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