November 14, 2019 / 6:32 AM / a month ago

EM ASIA FX-Most fall as weak China data dampens risk sentiment; Philippine peso firms

    * South Korean won weakens to near 3-week low
    * India Oct retail inflation breaches cenbank's medium-term
    * Philippine peso firms as cenbank likely to hold key rates

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Niyati Shetty
    Nov 14 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies eased on Thursday
after dismal economic data out of China highlighted the fallout
from a 16-month trade war with the United States.
    Risk sentiment cooled after industrial production growth in
the world's second-largest economy slowed more sharply than
expected in October, while retail sales fell short of prediction
and investment growth hit a record low.
    Investors flocked to safe-haven currencies like the Japanese
yen and the Swiss franc, sending the dollar lower. 
    Martin Lynge Rasmussen, China economist at Capital
Economics, said in a note that "further weakness lurks ahead"
for the country, adding that "the case for further monetary
easing remains intact".
    The Chinese yuan, however, was little changed as
investors kept to the sidelines awaiting more clarity on an
interim trade deal between Beijing and Washington.
    The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday reported trade talks
between the world's two top economies have 'hit a snag' over
farm purchases, with China not wanting a deal that looks
one-sided in the favour of the United States.
    South Korea's won weakened as much as 0.4% to a
near three-week low, while the Taiwan dollar faltered
    The Malaysian ringgit and the Indonesian rupiah
 were marginally softer. 
    The Indian rupee was flat after slipping 0.9% in
the previous session. 
    Data released on Wednesday showed the country's retail
inflation breached the central bank's medium-term target of 4%
in October for the first time in 15 months.
    Most economists, however, expect the central bank to look
past the inflation figures and cut rates for a sixth straight
time next month with economic growth and industrial output
sagging to six-year lows.
    The Philippine peso strengthened 0.4% to 50.74
against the dollar, as investors expect the central bank to
leave interest rates unchanged at its policy meeting later in
the day.  
    Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) will likely pause its
easing cycle after stronger-than-expected economic growth in the
third quarter and with inflation likely to remain tame in the
coming months, a Reuters poll showed.
    "The BSP is expected to be more cautious in further easing
as the central bank strives to maintain economic growth while
minimizing the risk of building up excessive inflationary
pressure," Mizuho Bank said in a note.
    The central bank has cut its benchmark rate three times by a
total of 75 basis points this year, bringing it to 4.0%.  
    The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar at 0602 GMT.
 Currency               Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
 Japan yen              108.690     108.81        +0.11
 Sing dlr               1.363       1.3626        -0.04
 Taiwan dlr             30.561      30.503        -0.19
 Korean won             1170.300    1167.8        -0.21
 Baht                   30.210      30.2475       +0.12
 Peso                   50.740      50.93         +0.37
 Rupiah                 14090.000   14077         -0.09
 Rupee                  72.095      72.09         -0.01
 Ringgit                4.157       4.152         -0.12
 Yuan                   7.020       7.0230        +0.05
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Currency               Latest bid  End 2018      Pct Move
 Japan yen              108.690     109.56        +0.80
 Sing dlr               1.363       1.3627        -0.04
 Taiwan dlr             30.561      30.733        +0.56
 Korean won             1170.300    1115.70       -4.67
 Baht                   30.210      32.55         +7.75
 Peso                   50.740      52.47         +3.41
 Rupiah                 14090.000   14375         +2.02
 Rupee                  72.095      69.77         -3.22
 Ringgit                4.157       4.1300        -0.65
 Yuan                   7.020       6.8730        -2.09

 (Reporting by Niyati Shetty in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu
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