April 17, 2018 / 6:36 AM / a year ago

EM ASIA FX-S.Korean won firms most in region against steady U.S. dollar

    * S. Korean won firms most, recovers from Monday's loss 
    * Taiwan dlr firms for first session in five 
    * Chinese Q1 GDP slightly outperforms expectations

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Aaron Saldanha
    April 17 (Reuters) - The won rose the most among Asian
currencies against a steady U.S. dollar on Tuesday, boosted by
the return of capital inflows to South Korea.  
    Investors wagered U.S.-led attacks on Syria at the weekend
would not escalate into a wider conflict in the Middle East,
keeping the dollar stable.
    The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies
 was effectively flat at 89.414. 
    Among Asian currencies, the South Korean won
gained about 0.6 percent.
    "With regards to Asian net capital inflows, we are
witnessing an attempted rebound in net bond inflows for South
Korea," OCBC Bank FX Strategists Emmanuel Ng and Terence Wu
wrote in a research note.    
    Meanwhile, the Taiwan dollar rose for the first
time in five sessions, firming as much as 0.15 percent, the most
in more than two weeks. Taiwan's dollar had slipped as much as
0.33 percent on Monday to hit its weakest in more than two
    Malaysia's ringgit firmed on Tuesday after ending a
fourth consecutive session weaker on Monday. 
    The Singapore dollar was a shade firmer, as was the
Indonesian rupiah.
    India's rupee moved in the other direction,
slipping about 0.1 percent. 
    "In India, net equity inflows are moderating sharply...with
the net positive inflow balance moderating lower," wrote the
OCBC Bank strategists. 
    The Philippine peso edged down 0.05 percent, a little
less than the change seen in the Thai baht.
     The baht slipped 0.06 percent, trading for the first time
after markets re-opened following the Songkran Festival
    China's yuan weakened 0.1 percent, hurt by
corporate demand for U.S. dollars, with traders looking past
U.S. President Donald Trump's claims of China playing a
"devaluation game". 
   Data out of Beijing showed China's economic growth slightly
outdid expectations by maintaining an even 6.8 percent for the
first quarter of 2018, although industrial output grew a more
modest 6.0 percent in March from a year earlier, missing
    Growth in China's fixed-asset investment slowed to 7.5
percent in the first quarter, also below forecasts.
    The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar at 0511 GMT.
  Currency                 Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
  Japan yen               107.020             107.1     +0.07
  Sing dlr                1.310              1.3099     +0.02
  Taiwan dlr              29.389             29.425     +0.12
  Korean won              1067.800             1074     +0.58
  Baht                    31.200              31.18     -0.06
  Peso                    52.094              52.07     -0.05
  Rupiah                  13771.000           13772     +0.01
  Rupee                   65.530              65.49     -0.06
  Ringgit                 3.885              3.8865     +0.04
  Yuan                    6.282              6.2761     -0.09
  Change so far in 2018                                      
  Currency                Latest bid   End 2017      Pct Move
  Japan yen               107.020            112.67     +5.28
  Sing dlr                1.310              1.3373     +2.12
  Taiwan dlr              29.389             29.848     +1.56
  Korean won              1067.800          1070.50     +0.25
  Baht                    31.200              32.58     +4.42
  Peso                    52.094              49.93     -4.15
  Rupiah                  13771.000           13565     -1.50
  Rupee                   65.530              63.87     -2.53
  Ringgit                 3.885              4.0440     +4.09
  Yuan                    6.282              6.5069     +3.58

 (Reporting by Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru
Editing by Eric Meijer)
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