January 26, 2018 / 5:49 AM / 7 months ago

EM ASIA FX-Most currencies climb as investors shrug off dollar recovery

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Christina Martin
    Jan 26 (Reuters) - Most emerging Asian currencies edged up
on Friday, with the dollar reviving after U.S. President Donald
Trump said he wanted  a "strong dollar", but market participants
were sceptical it would be enough to change the currency's
recent weak trend.
    The dollar bounced on Thursday after Trump told CNBC in an
interview in Davos, Switzerland, that he ultimately wants the
dollar to be strong.
    Some market participants, however, were sceptical that
Trump's comments would change the outlook on the dollar as its
yield attraction will diminish if other global central banks 
wind up their stimulus policies. Concerns over U.S. trade
protectionism were also weighing on the dollar.
    In Asian currencies, the Thai baht rose as much as
0.5 percent to its highest since Nov. 11, 2013, making it the
best performer in the region. 
    The baht is on track for five straight weeks of gains. 
    Thailand's central bank is worried that a rapid rise in the
baht might hurt the economy and is ready to consider additional
measures if moves in the currency are 'unusual', the governor
said on Friday.
    The Malaysian ringgit climbed to nearly a two-year
high, up as much as 0.2 percent, and on track for a sixth
straight session of gains, while the Singapore dollar
added as much as 0.3 percent. 
    The Chinese yuan edged up slightly, while the
Taiwan dollar, the Philippine peso and
Indonesia's rupiah all traded flat. 
    'The (emerging Asian) markets are digesting recent comments
on FX from Washington. Though (President) Trump's comments
somewhat paused the dollar decline, we believe broader macro
trends are underpinning the dollar downtrend," said Christopher
Wong, an FX strategist with Maybank. 
    "Notwithstanding rebounds which may be sporadic and
short-lived amid stretched positioning, there are a handful of
broader term shifts to support the case for broad dollar
downtrend, including U.S. tax reforms and its wider implication
on deficit, debt and the dollar, reserve diversification away
from the dollar, etc." 
    The Korean won, on the other hand, slid as much
as 0.8 percent, posting its biggest intraday percentage loss in
over seven weeks. 
    Indian markets were closed for Republic Day holiday on
Friday. 
    
     YUAN
     China's yuan advanced further against the dollar on Friday,
but at a much slower pace after the greenback broadly recovered.
    In the spot market, the onshore yuan opened at
6.3350 per dollar and was changing hands at 6.3280 at midday, 35
pips firmer than the previous late session close and 0.25
percent stronger than the midpoint. 
    The currency was on track to mark its seventh straight
weekly gain. 
    
    The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar at 0457 GMT.
    CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
 Currency          Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
 Japan yen         109.390     109.39        +0.00
 Sing dlr          1.308       1.3103        +0.20
 Taiwan dlr        29.084      29.069        -0.05
 Korean won        1065.000    1058.6        -0.60
 Baht              31.350      31.47         +0.38
 Peso              50.880      50.81         -0.14
 Rupiah            13305.000   13287         -0.14
 Ringgit           3.873       3.884         +0.28
 Yuan              6.329       6.3315        +0.05
                                             
 Change in 2018                              
 Currency          Latest bid  End 2017      Pct Move
 Japan yen         109.390     112.67        +3.00
 Sing dlr          1.308       1.3373        +2.26
 Taiwan dlr        29.084      29.848        +2.63
 Korean won        1065.000    1070.50       +0.52
 Baht              31.350      32.58         +3.92
 Peso              50.880      49.93         -1.87
 Rupiah            13305.000   13565         +1.95
 Ringgit           3.873       4.0440        +4.42
 Yuan              6.329       6.5069        +2.82
 

 (Reporting by Christina Martin in Bengaluru; Editing by
Jacqueline Wong)
  
 
 
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