October 22, 2019 / 5:59 AM / in 4 months

EM ASIA FX-Trade-reliant Asian currencies advance on positive U.S.-China headlines

    * Rupiah gains on new Indonesian cabinet 
    * Rupee propped up by improved sentiment, equity market
recovery
    * South Korean won touches near-four month high against
dollar

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Nikhil Nainan
    Oct 22 (Reuters) - Trade-exposed Asian currencies got some
support on Tuesday from upbeat comments on the progress of
U.S.-China trade negotiations, but other units were capped by
cautious investor sentiment.
    Both the United States and China said talks on resolving
their bitter trade war were progressing with White House adviser
Larry Kudlow adding that tariffs scheduled for December could be
withdrawn.
    South Korea's won and the Taiwan dollar
each strengthened 0.1%, having eased off earlier highs. The won
had climbed to its strongest level in nearly four months. 
    Sentiment remains cautious given the unpredictable nature of
the talks between the two countries in the past.
    "We had been here before," Zhu Huani, a Singapore-based
economist with Mizuho Bank wrote in a note.
    She cited the abrupt end to talks in May when things were
reportedly going well, and that a partial deal may not address
slowing global growth.
    The rupee is set for its fourth session of gains,
advancing 0.3% to 70.955 against the dollar. 
    "Markets anticipate another rate cut by the Fed which will
make high-yielding currencies more attractive, which is helping
the rupee pull some gains," said Khoon Goh, ANZ's head of Asia
research, referring to next week's Federal Reserve policy
meeting.
    The equity market in India has also been on the upside,
boosted by government measures to shore up the stuttering
economy.
    Barclays expects further near term consolidation in the
rupee due to improved risk sentiment and resumption of foreign
investor equity purchases.     
    Elsewhere, the Malaysian ringgit eased 0.1% as
worries mount over the potential impact of a call by India's top
vegetable body to stop buying the edible oil from the Southeast
Asian country.
    In 2018, India was Malaysia's third-largest export
destination and vegetable oil contributed 2.8% of Malaysia's
gross domestic product and 4.5% to total exports last year.

    
    INDONESIA'S RUPIAH
    Indonesia's rupiah gained the most in the region, up
0.5% against the dollar as markets took a positive view of the
country's new cabinet. 
    The make-up of the cabinet was being closely watched to see
how many technocrats - who are more likely to fall in with
President Joko Widodo's plans for boosting growth and investment
- were included.
    Widodo asked opposition leader Prabowo Subianto to join his
new cabinet, and also tapped co-founder of tech start-up Gojek
and a former chairman of Inter Milan for posts.
    The country's central bank will decide on Thursday whether
to cut rates for a fourth straight month, with a majority of
those polled by Reuters expecting one.
  
CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
 Change on the day at 0527 GMT                    
 Currency               Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
 Japan yen              108.630     108.59        -0.04
 Sing dlr               1.361       1.3608        -0.04
 Taiwan dlr             30.566      30.592        +0.09
 Korean won             1170.600    1172          +0.12
 Baht                   30.290      30.25         -0.13
 Peso                   51.160      51.08         -0.16
 Rupiah                 14000.000   14073         +0.52
 Rupee                  70.955      71.14         +0.26
 Ringgit                4.183       4.18          -0.07
 Yuan                   7.076       7.0750        -0.02
                                                  
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Currency               Latest bid  End 2018      Pct Move
 Japan yen              108.630     109.56        +0.86
 Sing dlr               1.361       1.3627        +0.10
 Taiwan dlr             30.566      30.733        +0.55
 Korean won             1170.600    1115.70       -4.69
 Baht                   30.290      32.55         +7.46
 Peso                   51.160      52.47         +2.56
 Rupiah                 14000.000   14375         +2.68
 Rupee                  70.955      69.77         -1.67
 Ringgit                4.183       4.1300        -1.27
 Yuan                   7.076       6.8730        -2.87
 
 (Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sam
Holmes)
  
 
 
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