November 15, 2019 / 7:09 AM / 25 days ago

EM ASIA FX-Sino-U.S. trade deal hopes lift Asian currencies

    * S. Korean won firms 0.4% but set for first weekly loss in
six 
    * China yuan rises; PBOC injects 200 bln yuan to boost
liquidity
    * Rupiah up as Indonesia swings to trade surplus 

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Niyati Shetty
    Nov 15 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies firmed on Friday
after risk sentiment was buoyed by fresh optimism that a deal to
end a 16-month trade dispute between United States and China
will materialize soon. 
    White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow on Thursday said
the world's top economies were getting close to an agreement,
citing what he called very constructive talks with
Beijing.
    "Like any good showman, Kudlow is keeping markets warm,"
Vishnu Varathan, senior economist at Mizuho Bank, said in a
note, adding that his comment on the deal "coming down to the
short strokes" must be tantalizing as it suggests that the
finish line is within sight.
    South Korea's won lead gains among its Asian
peers, strengthening as much as 0.4%. The unit was on track to
decline 0.8% for the week, snapping six straight weeks of gains.
    The South Korean economy is relatively more sensitive to
developments in the trade war, given its reliance on tech
exports. 
    The yuan firmed up to 0.3% against the dollar,
but was poised to end five consecutive weeks of gains. 
    The People's Bank of China unexpectedly extended 200 billion
yuan through its medium-term lending facility on Friday, the
second time it has done so this month, while keeping the lending
rate unchanged.
    The liquidity injection comes a day after the country posted
 a range of weak economic data, including faltering factory
output and investment growth.  
    The Indian rupee gained 0.4% and the Philippine
peso added 0.3%. 
    Gains in the peso were supported by the country's central
bank holding rates unchanged at 4.00% on Thursday, after
surprisingly strong economic growth in the third quarter.

    Malaysia's ringgit was marginally stronger, despite
data showing the economy grew 4.4% in the third quarter, its
slowest pace in a year.  
    The central bank, however, said growth will remain positive
and maintained its 2019 outlook. 
    
    RUPIAH FIRMS ON TRADE SURPLUS 
    The Indonesian rupiah was slightly firmer as
government data showed the country swing to a trade surplus in
October due to slower-than-expected drop in exports.

    However, concerns about a fall in both exports and imports
weighed on growth outlook. 
    "For the time being, the rupiah remains well-supported by
financial market flows," ING said in a note. 
    "But should concern about the current account return to the
spotlight, the IDR may be pressured once more with Bank
Indonesia likely to revisit its current "accommodative"
stance".   
    
    
    The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar at 0702 GMT.
    CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
    
 Currency               Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
 Japan yen              108.580     108.39        -0.17
 Sing dlr               1.361       1.3617        +0.05
 Taiwan dlr             30.533      30.582        +0.16
 Korean won             1166.600    1169.7        +0.27
 Baht                   30.210      30.205        -0.02
 Peso                   50.580      50.73         +0.30
 Rupiah                 14065.000   14080         +0.11
 Rupee                  71.715      71.97         +0.36
 Ringgit                4.152       4.156         +0.10
 Yuan                   7.009       7.0200        +0.16
                                                  
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Currency               Latest bid  End 2018      Pct Move
 Japan yen              108.580     109.56        +0.90
 Sing dlr               1.361       1.3627        +0.12
 Taiwan dlr             30.533      30.733        +0.66
 Korean won             1166.600    1115.70       -4.36
 Baht                   30.210      32.55         +7.75
 Peso                   50.580      52.47         +3.74
 Rupiah                 14065.000   14375         +2.20
 Rupee                  71.715      69.77         -2.71
 Ringgit                4.152       4.1300        -0.53
 Yuan                   7.009       6.8730        -1.94
 
 (Reporting by Niyati Shetty in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh
Kuber)
  
 
 
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