December 24, 2019 / 5:32 AM / 2 months ago

EM ASIA FX-Most eke out gains as trade optimism buoys sentiment amid holiday lull

    * Indonesian currency markets closed for a holiday
    * S. Korea, China, Japan to help promote N.Korea-U.S.
dialogue
    * China considering more RRR cuts - Premier Li Keqiang 

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Shreya Mariam Job
    Dec 24 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies eked out minor
gains on Tuesday as optimism from the Sino-U.S. trade deal
propped up investor sentiment in holiday-thinned trade. 
    With the "phase one" U.S.-China trade deal expected to be
signed very shortly and with China providing clarity on the
goods it will lower tariffs on, investors have been enjoying a
pleasant reprieve from trade tensions that have rattled
financial markets for over a year.
    Market players, however, are refraining from placing heavy
bets ahead of the new year to gauge how far the partial trade
agreement would go in resolving the Sino-U.S. conflict.  
    "Relative calm and reduced safe-haven demand reflect 'fat
tail risks' ducked (for example, "Phase-1" U.S.-China deal and
"Brexit")," a Mizuho bank note said on Monday. 
    "Risks are merely deferred, maybe dormant, but certainly not
dead." 
    The South Korean won and the Taiwan dollar
strengthened the most among Asian units. 
    South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Tuesday that
South Korea, China, and Japan agreed to help promote North
Korea-U.S. dialogue to end North Korea's nuclear programme at
the trilateral summit on China.
    The Taiwan dollar strengthened about 0.2% supported by plans
disclosed on Monday to sell T$150 billion ($4.97 billion) in
government bonds in the first quarter.    
    In China, Premier Li Keqiang said on Monday the government
will consider rolling out more measures to lower financing costs
for the real economy, including broad-based and "targeted" cuts
in the reserve requirement ratio (RRR), relending and
rediscounting.
    The Chinese yuan was in the black but was largely
flat.
    Meanwhile, the currency of net oil importer India
was weighed down by higher oil prices. 
     Philippines onshore markets were closed for holiday, while
the offshore peso stood unchanged after about two hours of
trade.
    Indonesian currency markets were closed for a holiday and
the rupiah will resume trade on Thursday. 

    CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR

 Change on the day at   0509 GMT                  
 Currency               Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
 Japan yen              109.370     109.39        +0.02
 Sing dlr               1.356       1.3554        -0.04
 Taiwan dlr             30.171      30.215        +0.15
 Korean won             1162.800    1164.3        +0.13
 Baht                   30.150      30.16         +0.03
 Peso                   50.820      50.82         +0.00
 Rupee                  71.220      71.18         -0.06
 Ringgit                4.138       4.141         +0.07
 Yuan                   7.010       7.0125        +0.04
                                                  
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Currency               Latest bid  End 2018      Pct Move
 Japan yen              109.370     109.56        +0.17
 Sing dlr               1.356       1.3627        +0.50
 Taiwan dlr             30.171      30.733        +1.86
 Korean won             1162.800    1115.70       -4.05
 Baht                   30.150      32.55         +7.96
 Peso                   50.820      52.47         +3.25
 Rupiah                 13960.000   14375         +2.97
 Rupee                  71.220      69.77         -2.04
 Ringgit                4.138       4.1300        -0.19
 Yuan                   7.010       6.8730        -1.95
 ($1 = 30.1590 Taiwan dollars)

 (Reporting by Shreya Mariam Job in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi
Aich)
  
 
 
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