December 18, 2019 / 6:17 AM / a month ago

EM ASIA FX-Most slip as dollar gains on fresh Brexit woes; Taiwan dollar rises

    * Taiwan dollar strengthens for fifth straight day
    * Thai baht weakens ahead of c. bank rate decision
    * China's yuan inches lower 

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Shriya Ramakrishnan
    Dec 18 (Reuters) - Most emerging Asian currencies weakened
on Wednesday, as the dollar gained on renewed fears over a
chaotic exit of Britain from the European Union, while trading
in the region was subdued ahead of the holiday season.
    Britain on Tuesday set a hard deadline of December 2020 to
reach a new trade deal with the EU, trying to pressure Brussels
to move more quickly to seal an accord.
    The plunge in the pound supported the dollar to its
highest in a week against a basket of currencies. 
    "There is no real motivation to be taking on strong
directional views, especially with the fact that major risk
events are out of the way, so the scope for volatility is
reduced," Wei-Liang Chang, a forex and credit macro strategist
at DBS Bank said.
    "There is some softness in activity since we are heading
towards the Christmas season...which is why we aren't seeing any
drastic moves except for the case of sterling."
    The Taiwan dollar led gains in the region,
strengthening 0.2% to the dollar for a fifth straight day. The
currency has regained footing this year on the back of improving
exports and growth prospects and a pick up in equity inflows. 
    The Indonesian rupiah and Singapore dollar
edged lower, while the S. Korean won eased from a
1-month high hit in the previous session.
    Markets will focus on Indonesia's central bank policy
meeting on Thursday, where it is widely anticipated to keep
rates unchanged after a series of policy loosening steps aimed
at lifting economic growth.
    The Indian rupee was marginally lower, while the
Chinese yuan inched lower on rising corporate demand
for the greenback.
    
    
    THAI BAHT IN FOCUS AHEAD OF C.BANK DECISION 
    The Thai baht depreciated 0.2% against the
greenback, ahead of the central bank policy decision later in
the day.
     Bank of Thailand (BoT) is expected to leave its benchmark
interest rate at a record low after two cuts this year, a
Reuters poll showed, although it was likely to downgrade its
growth outlook again.
    "While Baht strength remains one of the main concerns, BoT
might prefer to pause and assess how effective the measures it
has introduced on capital outflows have been," a Mizuho Bank
note said.
    Baht is Asia's best performing currency this year so far, up
7.6% against the U.S. dollar, despite the central bank's steps
to rein in the baht's gains. 

    CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
 
 Change on the day at   0553 GMT                  
 Currency               Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
 Japan yen              109.450     109.47        +0.02
 Sing dlr               1.357       1.3547        -0.13
 Taiwan dlr             30.150      30.210        +0.20
 Korean won             1165.600    1166.2        +0.05
 Baht                   30.260      30.21         -0.17
 Peso                   50.600      50.57         -0.06
 Rupiah                 14000.000   13985         -0.11
 Rupee                  71.063      70.97         -0.13
 Ringgit                4.142       4.141         -0.02
 Yuan                   7.004       6.9968        -0.11
                                                  
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Currency               Latest bid  End 2018      Pct Move
 Japan yen              109.450     109.56        +0.10
 Sing dlr               1.357       1.3627        +0.46
 Taiwan dlr             30.150      30.733        +1.93
 Korean won             1165.600    1115.70       -4.28
 Baht                   30.260      32.55         +7.57
 Peso                   50.600      52.47         +3.70
 Rupiah                 14000.000   14375         +2.68
 Rupee                  71.063      69.77         -1.82
 Ringgit                4.142       4.1300        -0.29
 Yuan                   7.004       6.8730        -1.88
 
    
    

 (Reporting by Shriya Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by
Rashmi Aich)
  
 
 
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