April 16, 2018 / 6:24 AM / in 4 months

EM ASIA FX-Most currencies weaken on stronger U.S. dlr as Syria concerns ease

    * S. Korean won weakens most
    * Indonesian March trade balance resoundingly beats
expectations
    * Regional units weaken in face of firmer U.S. dlr

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Aaron Saldanha
    April 16 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies weakened on
Monday as the U.S. dollar firmed after the joint strike on
Syrian chemical warfare facilities by the United States, France
and Britain went according to plan.
    U.S. President Donald Trump's declaration of "mission
accomplished" after the strikes convinced market participants
that the chances of further military action over Syria's lastest
alleged use of chemical weapons were slim.

    "For now, last Saturday’s air strikes were viewed as a
one-off warning," Philip Wee, FX Strategist at DBS Bank, wrote
in a client note. 
    EMini futures for the S&P 500 nudged up about 0.4
percent and  Japan's Nikkei added 0.2 percent.

    The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies
 edged up as much as about 0.1 percent to 89.850. 
    Among Asian currencies, the South Korean won's
loss of 0.4 percent made it the region's worst-performing
currency.
    Earlier on Monday, South Korea's finance minister said he
would seek the 'right way' to disclose details of actions taken
by currency authorities when intervening in the foreign exchange
market. 
    Meanwhile, the Taiwan dollar was on track to fall
for a fourth straight session. 
    It slipped as much as 0.33 percent, hitting its weakest in
more than two months, reflecting its sensitivity to global
tensions.
    Malaysia's ringgit and the Philippine peso
lost about 0.2 percent. The ringgit is also set to end fourth
consecutive session weaker.
    The Singapore dollar edged down 0.1 percent, in
line with the move seen in China's yuan .    
    China's gross domestic product, industrial output and retail
sales data is due on Tuesday. 
    Thai markets were closed for a holiday.
    
    INDONESIAN RUPIAH 
    
    The rupiah recovered some lost ground to weaken 0.15
percent, with Indonesia posting its widest trade surplus in six
months in March.
    The country's trade surplus of $1.09 billion overwhelmed
expectations of a $90 million deficit.  
    
    INDIAN RUPEE
    
    India's rupee was among the biggest losers on the
day, ahead of wholesale price inflation data for March scheduled
for later in the day. Expectations are for the wholesale price
index to increase slightly to 2.58 percent in March
from February's 2.48 percent, a Reuters poll of analysts found.

    The rupee weakened as much as 0.33 percent on Monday.
    On Friday, the U.S. Treasury included India in its currency 
monitoring list, which monitors suspected currency intervention,
expanding the list to six countries.
    "We do not expect the Indian rupee to appreciate strongly
because of this. India has twin current account and fiscal
deficits that keep its currency and bond markets vulnerable to
rising U.S. rates," wrote Philip Wee.
    "If not for the rally in the Indian stock market, the rupee
would probably have depreciated more instead of keeping stable
around 65 against the U.S. dollar in the past few weeks."
    
    The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar at 0526 GMT.

        CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
 Change on the day at   0526 GMT                  
 Currency               Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
 Japan yen              107.200     107.33        +0.12
 Sing dlr               1.313       1.3117        -0.11
 Taiwan dlr             29.396      29.302        -0.32
 Korean won             1074.200    1069.5        -0.44
 Peso                   52.032      51.95         -0.16
 Rupiah                 13770.000   13750         -0.15
 Rupee                  65.403      65.20         -0.31
 Ringgit                3.888       3.8785        -0.24
 Yuan                   6.284       6.2773        -0.10
                                                  
 Change so far in 2018                            
 Currency               Latest bid  End 2017      Pct Move
 Japan yen              107.200     112.67        +5.10
 Sing dlr               1.313       1.3373        +1.84
 Taiwan dlr             29.396      29.848        +1.54
 Korean won             1074.200    1070.50       -0.34
 Peso                   52.032      49.93         -4.04
 Rupiah                 13770.000   13565         -1.49
 Rupee                  65.403      63.87         -2.34
 Ringgit                3.888       4.0440        +4.01
 Yuan                   6.284       6.5069        +3.55
 

 (Reporting by Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru
Editing by Eric Meijer)
  
 
 
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