December 21, 2017 / 5:40 AM / 3 months ago

EM ASIA FX-Most gain; Indonesian rupiah hits 2-week high after Fitch upgrade

 (Adds text, quotes; updates prices)
    By Chandini Monnappa
    Dec 21 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies edged higher
against the dollar on Thursday, with the rupiah leading the
gainers in the region and touching a two-week high after Fitch
upgraded Indonesia's credit rating.
    The Indonesian rupiah saw its best session in more
than a month after Fitch raised the country's Long-Term Foreign-
and Local-Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) to "BBB" from
"BBB minus" and said the outlook was stable.
    "Asian currencies are trading firmer today, led by the
Indonesian rupiah which jumped after a Fitch upgrade and a
strong yuan fixing earlier," said Peter Chia, FX strategist at
United Overseas Bank (UOB) in Singapore.
    The dollar index, which measures the greenback
against a basket of six major currencies, was nearly flat at
0437 GMT.
    "Markets remain sceptical that the passing of the U.S. tax
reform will reverse bond inflows which have underpinned Asian FX
this year," Chia added.
    The Philippine peso extended gains for a third
straight session as it rose 0.4 percent to its highest in six
    The South Korean won and the Taiwan dollar
gained as much as 0.1 percent and 0.2 percent respectively.
    The Indian rupee rose slightly while the Thai baht
 was trading unchanged.
    Bucking the trend were the Malaysian ringgit and the
Singapore dollar, which slipped 0.1 percent each.
    The rupiah rose as much as 0.3 percent to its highest level
in over two weeks.
    Fitch said Indonesia's resilience to external shocks has
steadily strengthened in the past few years on the back of
macroeconomic policies that have been geared toward maintaining
    "Fitch's upgrade may now raise expectations of an upgrade by
Moody's next year, given that Moody's has already put
Indonesia's rating on a positive outlook in early-2017," DBS
said in a note on Thursday.
    In February, Moody's Investors Service upgraded Indonesia's
credit rating outlook to "positive" from "stable".
    The Chinese yuan rose as much as 0.4 percent to
its highest in three months after China's central bank set its
official yuan midpoint at the highest level in three
months at 6.5795 per dollar on Thursday.
    For the year, the yuan has strengthened about 5.6 percent
against the dollar, compared with a roughly 6.5 percent decline
in 2016, the biggest annual loss since 1994.
    The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar at 0435 GMT.
 Currency               Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
 Japan yen              113.35      113.38        +0.03
 Sing dlr               1.3449      1.3437        -0.09
 Taiwan dlr             29.963      29.990        +0.09
 Korean won             1082        1080.9        -0.06
 Baht                   32.720      32.72          0.00
 Peso                   50.230      50.29         +0.12
 Rupiah                 13547       13575         +0.21
 Rupee                  64.12       64.11         -0.01
 Ringgit                4.076       4.071         -0.12
 Yuan                   6.571       6.5775        +0.10
 Change so far in 2017                            
 Currency               Latest bid  End 2016      Pct Move
 Japan yen              113.35      117.07        +3.28
 Sing dlr               1.3449      1.4490        +7.74
 Taiwan dlr             29.963      32.279        +7.73
 Korean won             1082        1207.70       +11.66
 Baht                   32.720      35.80         +9.41
 Peso                   50.230      49.72         -1.02
 Rupiah                 13547       13470         -0.57
 Rupee                  64.115      67.92         +5.93
 Ringgit                4.076       4.4845        +10.02
 Yuan                   6.571       6.9467        +5.72

 (Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru; Editing by
Gopakumar Warrier)
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