October 3, 2018 / 5:39 AM / 8 months ago

EM ASIA FX-Rupee hits record low, Bank Indonesia supports rupiah as oil prices weigh

    * EM Asia trades flat on a dearth of cues
    * Indian rupee breaches 73 to the dollar
    * Further rupiah weakening spurs Central Bank intervention

 (Adds details on rupee, context, updates prices)
    By Ambar Warrick
    Oct 3 (Reuters) - The Indian rupee opened at a record low on
Wednesday and  further weakening in Indonesia's embattled rupiah
prompted central bank intervention as an overnight spike in oil
prices weighed heavily on the currencies. 
   The rupee and the rupiah are highly exposed to fluctuations
in oil prices, because Indonesia and India import most of their
oil requirements.
   Oil prices were steady after hitting a four-year high on
    The rupiah's drop prompted the Bank of Indonesia to
intervene in the local currency market, deputy governor Dody
Budi Waluyo told Reuters. 
     The rupiah lost as much as 0.3 percent and stood at a more
than 20-year low of 15,090.
     The rupee shed as much as 0.6 percent to the dollar and hit
a record low of 73.390. A plunge in the rupee had also spurred
mild central bank intervention last month.
    Indonesia's finance minister said on Tuesday that the
economy was adjusting "quite well" to higher U.S. interest rates
and the fall of the rupiah, asserting that many of its economic
indicators were good.
    Most other Asian currencies traded in a tight range on
Wednesday in the absence of major cues.
    Investors shied away from taking large positions ahead of
crucial non-farm payroll data from the United States later this
week, which is seen as foreshadowing the U.S. Federal Reserve's 
policy tightening measures.
    "There isn't really too much happening that's pushing
volatility. There may be some concerns as to trade war impacts
on Asia. We're still in a period of consolidation this week
ahead of the non-farm payrolls," said Chang, Wei Liang, FX
strategist at Mizuho Bank. 
    The Singapore dollar inched lower against the dollar.
The currency is a stalwart for investors in times of volatility,
and as such has held most of its value, unlike some of its
    A Reuters poll of economists found that the Singapore
Monetary Authority is seen as likely to tighten policy again in
October, albeit modestly, as policy makers worry about fallout
from Sino-U.S. trade tensions. 
    Such a tightening is expected to benefit the Singapore
    The Taiwan dollar was largely flat, while the Thai
baht and the Philippine peso edged up. 
    Chinese markets have been closed all week for national
holidays. South Korea's markets were also closed on Wednesday. 
    The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar at 0438 GMT:
 CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR                              
 Change on the day                                      
 Currency                     Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
 Japan yen                    113.650     113.66        +0.01
 Sing dlr                     1.374       1.3729        -0.07
 Taiwan dlr                   30.667      30.668         0.00
 Baht                         32.330      32.36         +0.09
 Peso                         54.200      54.25         +0.09
 Rupiah                       15070.000   15040         -0.20
 Rupee                        73.360      72.91         -0.61
 Ringgit                      4.137       4.14          +0.07
 Change so far in 2018                                  
 Currency                     Latest bid  End 2017      Pct Move
 Japan yen                    113.650     112.67        -0.86
 Sing dlr                     1.374       1.3373        -2.66
 Taiwan dlr                   30.667      29.848        -2.67
 Korean won                   1119.200    1070.50       -4.35
 Baht                         32.330      32.58         +0.77
 Peso                         54.200      49.93         -7.88
 Rupiah                       15070.000   13565         -9.99
 Rupee                        73.360      63.87         -12.94
 Ringgit                      4.137       4.0440        -2.25
 Yuan                         6.873       6.5069        -5.32

 (Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru)
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