March 20, 2020 / 7:24 AM / 9 days ago

EM ASIA FX-Most rise but set to end week lower amid dollar hoarding

    * Fed dollar swap lines ease shortage worries slightly
    * Most emerging Asian units set to clock weekly losses
    * Rupiah set for biggest weekly drop since April 2001

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Rashmi Ashok
    March 20 (Reuters) - Most emerging Asian currencies rose
against a weaker dollar on Friday, but were set to end the week
sharply lower as a scramble for hard cash and surge in demand
for the greenback prompted investors to pare holdings in Asian
bonds and currencies. 
    The U.S. dollar shed nearly 1% in early Asian trade
and most regional currencies rose after the Federal Reserve
opened the taps on Thursday for central banks in nine additional
countries to access the greenback.
    However, Asian currencies faced a double whammy over the
week from investors' flight out of regional bonds in a bid to
stay liquid and marked dollar strength due to stockpiling of the
currency.  
    For the session, the South Korean won climbed
nearly 3.7% in its biggest intraday percentage gain since April
2009.
    The Bank of Korea was one of the nine central banks that
agreed to a currency swap deal with the Fed to help stabilise
its foreign exchange market.
    Singapore's central bank was part of the agreement too, 
establishing a $60 billion swap facility with the Fed. 

    The Singapore dollar gained 0.4% but was down more
than 2% for the week.
    The Chinese yuan bounced 0.5% to 7.076, helped by
Beijing's unexpected decision to keep a benchmark lending rate
unchanged.
    The Philippine peso climbed 1.4% and the Malaysian
ringgit firmed nearly 1%.
    Despite the relief at the end of a tumultuous week, many are
convinced that the strength of the dollar will stay through the
pandemic.
    The dollar is likely to reassert its dominance once the
correction of panic selling has run its course, wrote Jeffrey
Halley, a senior market analyst for Asia Pacific at OANDA.
    "That applies equally to the major currencies, but most
especially emerging markets, where the dollar shortage will
remain a serious issue in the months to come," he said.
    Sustaining losses even on Friday, the offshore Indonesian
rupiah was down nearly 9% for the week - its biggest loss
since April 2001. 
    Demand for the country's high-yielding bonds has plunged,
with yields on 10-year bonds rising around 86.5
basis points since the start of the week in their sharpest gain
since January 2011.    
    
The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against the
dollar at 0626 GMT.
    CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR

 Change on the day at   0626 GMT                  
 Currency               Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
 Japan yen              109.960     110.69        +0.66
 Sing dlr               1.447       1.4521        +0.37
 Taiwan dlr             30.242      30.506        +0.87
 Korean won             1248.700    1285.7        +2.96
 Baht                   32.570      32.61         +0.12
 Peso                   50.910      51.45         +1.06
 Rupiah                 16040.000   15900         -0.87
 Rupee                  74.978      75.09         +0.14
 Ringgit                4.377       4.41          +0.75
 Yuan                   7.071       7.1119        +0.58
                                                  
 Change so far in 2020                            
 Currency               Latest bid  End 2019      Pct Move
 Japan yen              109.960     108.61        -1.23
 Sing dlr               1.447       1.3444        -7.07
 Taiwan dlr             30.242      30.106        -0.45
 Korean won             1248.700    1156.40       -7.39
 Baht                   32.570      29.91         -8.17
 Peso                   50.910      50.65         -0.51
 Rupiah                 16040.000   13880         -13.47
 Rupee                  74.978      71.38         -4.80
 Ringgit                4.377       4.0890        -6.58
 Yuan                   7.071       6.9632        -1.52
 
 (Reporting by Rashmi Ashok in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu
Sahu)
  
 
 
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