August 20, 2019 / 6:56 AM / 2 months ago

EM ASIA FX-Most currencies slip, under pressure by stronger dollar

    * China's yuan leads losses among regional units
    * Korean won firms on Japan's export approval
    * Indonesia to hold key rate on Thursday - poll

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Devika Syamnath
    Aug 20 (Reuters) - Most emerging Asian currencies declined
on Tuesday, as the dollar firmed on hopes for fresh stimulus
from global policymakers while the yuan, a bellwether for
regional peers, weakened. 
    Investors widely expect the U.S. Federal Reserve to cut
rates again in September. The market's focus will be Fed Chair
Jerome Powell's remarks at the annual symposium of global
central bankers starting on Friday at Jackson Hole, Wyoming. 
    The Chinese yuan declined as much as 0.3%,
touching a one-week low, before paring some of the loss. 
    China's launch on Tuesday of a new lending reference rate,
which saw a small initial cut, did not have a substantial impact
on the yuan. But the change pointed to more easing ahead to seek
to lower corporate borrowing costs.
    OCBC said in a note that for Asian currencies, recovery of
risk sentiment was offset by a weaker yuan in the wake of
regulatory changes at China's central bank. 
    "With these divergent pressures, expect the Asian currencies
to potentially drift in different directions for now, although
the overall bias beyond the immediate horizon may still be for a
higher USD-Asia," OCBC said. 
    At 0558 GMT, the Indian rupee and Indonesian rupiah
 were both down 0.2%, making them among top decliners in
the region.
    On Monday, India said it would exempt shadow lenders from
debenture reserve requirements in an effort to increase the
availability of money for lending.
    A Reuters poll on Tuesday showed that 17 of 19 economists
expect Indonesia's central bank to keep its key rate on hold on
    South Korea's won bucked the regional trend,
gaining 0.2% on signs of some easing in Seoul's spat with Japan.
    Japan has approved shipments of a high-tech material to
South Korea for the second time since imposing export curbs last
month, two sources said.
    This came ahead of talks by government officials this week
to resolve a dispute stemming from their wartime past.
    The won weakened nearly 5% since July. 
    The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar at 0558 GMT.
 Currency               Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
 Japan yen              106.530     106.62        +0.08
 Sing dlr               1.385       1.3864        +0.09
 Taiwan dlr             31.400      31.352        -0.15
 Korean won             1208.100    1211          +0.24
 Baht                   30.810      30.82         +0.03
 Peso                   52.320      52.39         +0.13
 Rupiah                 14260.000   14230         -0.21
 Rupee                  71.580      71.43         -0.21
 Ringgit                4.180       4.175         -0.12
 Yuan                   7.067       7.0509        -0.22
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Currency               Latest bid  End 2018      Pct Move
 Japan yen              106.530     109.56        +2.84
 Sing dlr               1.385       1.3627        -1.62
 Taiwan dlr             31.400      30.733        -2.12
 Korean won             1208.100    1115.70       -7.65
 Baht                   30.810      32.55         +5.65
 Peso                   52.320      52.47         +0.29
 Rupiah                 14260.000   14375         +0.81
 Rupee                  71.580      69.77         -2.53
 Ringgit                4.180       4.1300        -1.20
 Yuan                   7.067       6.8730        -2.74
 (Reporting by Devika Syamnath in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard
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