October 28, 2019 / 6:49 AM / 20 days ago

EM ASIA FX-Most currencies strengthen slightly, won leads gains

    * Korean won sees best day in a week
    * Chinese yuan touches strongest level in 2 weeks
    * Thai baht weakens up to 0.2%

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Aby Jose Koilparambil
    Oct 28 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies eked out narrow
gains on Monday as hopes of a partial resolution to the
festering trade dispute between the United States and China by
next month whetted risk appetites.
    The gains, however, were capped as the dollar firmed ahead
of a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting this week where policymakers
are expected to cut interest rates but emphasise their
reluctance to ease policy further.
    Also, the overall trading activity was light in the region
owing to holidays in Singapore, India and Malaysia.
    Sino-U.S. trade tensions, which have roiled global financial
markets for more than a year, would be reduced if the first
phase of a deal between the world's top two economies can be
signed next month in Chile.
     On Friday, the U.S. Trade Representative's office and
China's Commerce Ministry said officials are "close to
finalising" some parts of a trade agreement after high-level
telephone discussions.
     Investors are also awaiting the developments from the
meetings late this week of the U.S. Federal Reserve and Bank of
Japan. 
    "A rate cut from the Fed looks a done deal this week as it
takes out more insurance against elevated external risks," ANZ
Research said in a note on Monday. "Forward policy guidance may
point to the Federal Open Market Committee taking some time out
to observe the impact of recent cuts." 
    The dollar index against a basket of six major
currencies stood at 97.849, near its highest in more than a
week.
    The Korean won led gains on Monday, strengthening
as much as 0.4% to 1,168 against the dollar, its best intraday
gain in a week.
    The Chinese yuan put on as much as 0.2% to touch
its strongest level in two weeks.
    The Taiwan dollar gained up to 0.2%, while the
Philippine peso and the Indonesian rupiah
advanced slightly.
    The Singapore dollar was almost unchanged in thin
offshore trading. 
    The Thai baht weakened as much as 0.2% on the day
to 30.210 against the dollar after gaining for two consecutive
sessions.
    
    CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
 Change on the day at   0620 GMT                  
 Currency               Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
 Japan yen              108.730     108.64        -0.08
 Sing dlr               1.363       1.3628        +0.00
 Taiwan dlr             30.562      30.594        +0.10
 Korean won             1169.900    1173          +0.26
 Baht                   30.210      30.16         -0.17
 Peso                   51.160      51.2          +0.08
 Rupiah                 14020.000   14030         +0.07
 Yuan                   7.062       7.0647        +0.03
                                                  
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Currency               Latest bid  End 2018      Pct Move
 Japan yen              108.730     109.56        +0.76
 Sing dlr               1.363       1.3627        -0.01
 Taiwan dlr             30.562      30.733        +0.56
 Korean won             1169.900    1115.70       -4.63
 Baht                   30.210      32.55         +7.75
 Peso                   51.160      52.47         +2.56
 Rupiah                 14020.000   14375         +2.53
 Rupee                  70.880      69.77         -1.57
 Ringgit                4.185       4.1300        -1.30
 Yuan                   7.062       6.8730        -2.68
 
 (Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; Editing by
Richard Borsuk)
  
 
 
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