July 30, 2019 / 5:45 AM / a month ago

EM ASIA FX-Most currencies in narrow range ahead of Fed, trade talks

    * Thai baht hits one-week high
    * Sino-U.S. trade talks weigh on sentiment

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Aby Jose Koilparambil
    July 30 (Reuters) - Asian currencies traded mostly in a
tight range on Tuesday, with markets shifting focus to an
expected U.S. Federal Reserve easing this week and possible
progress in Sino-U.S. trade talks. 
    The resumption of U.S.-China trade negotiations in Shanghai 
has given global financial markets some relief but expectations
for an agreement during the two-day meeting are low with
optimism centred around any "goodwill" gestures.
    The Fed is expected to cut rates by 25 basis points on
Wednesday - its first rate cute in a decade - after a two-day
meeting. Markets are looking for clues on whether the move may
be a one-off or the first in a series of several cuts.
   "The investors will continue to tread water awaiting news on
the ongoing U.S.-China trade talks as well as the U.S. Fed's
policy decision," said ING analysts in a note.
    Prospective monetary easing by the Fed and other major
central banks, has kept the gains in Asian currencies in check
over the past few weeks.
    The central banks of South Korea and Indonesia have slashed
rates this month to tackle domestic economic troubles and global
growth worries amid cooling demand from major trade partner
    Earlier in the day, the Bank of Japan kept monetary policy
steady but said it will ramp up stimulus "without hesitation" if
the economy loses momentum for hitting its 2% inflation target.

    The relative strength in the dollar also played its part in
keeping Asian currency pairs subdued on the day as the dollar
index clung on to near two-month high of 98.165.
    The Thai baht, resuming trade after Monday's
holiday, appreciated as much as 0.2% to a one-week high.
    The baht hardly reacted to Thailand's June factory output
data, which fell 5.54% from a year earlier, worse than the 3.15%
drop forecast in a Reuters poll, dragged down by lower
production of cars, rubber products and petroleum.
    The South Korean won put on as much as 0.2%, en
route to its second consecutive session of gains.
    The Chinese yuan, the Singapore dollar and
the Taiwan dollar eked out marginal gains.
    Meanwhile, the Indian rupee, the Indonesian rupiah
 and the Philippine peso weakened slightly.
    Malaysian markets were closed for a holiday.
 Change on the day at   0508 GMT                  
 Currency               Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
 Japan yen              108.600     108.77        +0.16
 Sing dlr               1.369       1.3701        +0.05
 Taiwan dlr             31.082      31.102        +0.06
 Korean won             1181.300    1183.5        +0.19
 Baht                   30.810      30.88         +0.23
 Peso                   51.020      51            -0.04
 Rupiah                 14025.000   14015         -0.07
 Rupee                  68.760      68.73         -0.04
 Yuan                   6.888       6.8926        +0.07
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Currency               Latest bid  End 2018      Pct Move
 Japan yen              108.600     109.56        +0.88
 Sing dlr               1.369       1.3627        -0.49
 Taiwan dlr             31.082      30.733        -1.12
 Korean won             1181.300    1115.70       -5.55
 Baht                   30.810      32.55         +5.65
 Peso                   51.020      52.47         +2.84
 Rupiah                 14025.000   14375         +2.50
 Rupee                  68.760      69.77         +1.47
 Ringgit                4.123       4.1300        +0.17
 Yuan                   6.888       6.8730        -0.22

 (Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru
Editing by Jacqueline Wong)
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