June 5, 2018 / 6:22 AM / a year ago

EM ASIA FX-Most emerging Asian currencies edge up as some worries ease

    * Anticipated U.S. Fed rate hike largely priced in 
    * S.Korean won firms the most in region 
    * Indian rupee, Chinese yuan weaken the most

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Aaron Saldanha
    June 5 (Reuters) - Most Asian emerging market currencies
rose against the dollar on Tuesday, as worries about economic
issues eased while a widely-anticipated U.S. interest rate hike
next week has already been priced in by traders. 
     For market participants, the anticipated rate hike has been
taken as a "virtual certainty, so they are not really batting an
eyelid on that.. .it has been well-flagged, a 25 basis point
move," said Vishnu Varathan, head of economics and strategy for
Mizuho Bank in Singapore.
    The U.S. dollar was firm against the yen, and the dollar
index was fractionally higher on Tuesday.
    Helping markets in general were lower oil prices, plus
reduced worries about a possible United States-China trade war
and about political disruptions in Europe.
    The South Korean won and the Taiwan dollar
 were emerging Asia's best performers on the day.
    The won was on track to firm for a fourth straight session,
gaining 0.33 percent. The currency of export-reliant South Korea
should benefit if next week's summit between President Donald
Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un goes well. 
    "I would like to think the risk sentiments have supported
Asian currencies. There has been a whole slew of things, softer
oil prices, USD yields keeling back," added Mizuho's Varathan.
    "So the whole squeeze in the dollar-Asia complex has abated
somewhat and certainly these currencies reflect that to some
    On Tuesday, the Singapore dollar and Thailand's
baht edged up 0.13 percent and 0.03 percent,
    India's rupee lost 0.15 percent, a move matched  by
the weakening of the Chinese yuan.
    The People's Bank of China set Tuesday's yuan mid-point
 at 6.4157 to the U.S. dollar, weaker than the yuan's
last close of 6.4027.   
    The Philippine peso firmed more than 0.1 percent as
May inflation data made some economists expect a second rate
hike in the future.
    Annual inflation last month was 4.6 percent, less than the
4.9 percent predicted in a Reuters poll, but still above the
central bank's 2-4 percent target band.
    Through Monday, the peso had lost more than 5 percent
against the dollar this year.

   The rupiah, which has lost about 2.2 percent in the
year to date, slipped 0.06 percent on Tuesday, a day after data
showed annual inflation slowed in May.
   Bank Indonesia (BI) raised rates twice in May to staunch a
fall in the rupiah.
    Some traders and analysts expect new BI Governor Perry
Warjiyo to take proactive steps to support the rupiah.
    The next BI meeting is June 27-28.

    The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar at 0525 GMT.
  Change on the day at   0525 GMT                             
  Currency                             Latest  Previous    Pct
                                          bid       day   Move
  Japan yen                         109.900       109.8  -0.09
  Sing dlr                          1.335        1.3365  +0.13
  Taiwan dlr                        29.763       29.820  +0.19
  Korean won                        1068.400     1071.9  +0.33
  Baht                              31.950        31.96  +0.03
  Peso                              52.481       52.537  +0.11
  Rupiah                            13875.000     13867  -0.06
  Rupee                             67.210        67.11  -0.15
  Ringgit                           3.970          3.97  +0.00
  Yuan                              6.412        6.4027  -0.15
 * Closed for market holiday                                  
  Change so far in 2018                                       
  Currency                          Latest     End 2017    Pct
                                    bid                   Move
  Japan yen                         109.900      112.67  +2.52
  Sing dlr                          1.335        1.3373  +0.19
  Taiwan dlr                        29.763       29.848  +0.29
  Korean won                        1068.400    1070.50  +0.20
  Baht                              31.950        32.58  +1.97
  Peso                              52.481        49.93  -4.86
  Rupiah                            13875.000     13565  -2.23
  Rupee                             67.210        63.87  -4.97
  Ringgit                           3.970        4.0440  +1.86
  Yuan                              6.412        6.5069  +1.48
 (Reporting by Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard
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