January 31, 2020 / 6:50 AM / a month ago

EM ASIA FX-Units set to post weekly losses as virus fears deepen

    * World Health Organization declares global emergency 
    * Health body but stops short of China trade restrictions
    * Philippine peso, Taiwan dollar gain on the day
    * South Korean won slips to worst level in 7 weeks

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Aby Jose Koilparambil
    Jan 31 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies were set to record
weekly losses on Friday as risk sentiment took a hit on fears
that the rapidly-spreading coronavirus in China could hurt its
economy.  
    Amid persisting concerns about the outbreak, which has
killed more than 200 people so far in China and infected
thousands globally, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared
a global emergency on Thursday.
    Most major Asian economies count China as a crucial trade
partner.
    The epidemic could temporarily reduce China's gross domestic
product to 5%, while trade and tourism are likely to weigh on
GDP for Australia and much of Asia, ANZ Research analysts said
in a note.
    However, some markets drew relief as the WHO stopped short
of recommending any restrictions on trade and travel.
    The Philippine peso gained about 0.3%, but was poised
for a 0.2% weekly loss and 0.5% monthly fall.
    Likewise, the Taiwan dollar appreciated about 0.2%
to mark its best session in more than two weeks, but was set for
a 0.7% weekly fall and 0.4% monthly loss.
    The Taiwan dollar had slid nearly a percent on Thursday as
investors priced in the virus impact while returning from a
five-day Lunar New Year break.
    The Indian rupee was little changed a day ahead of
the federal budget announcement as the country faces its worst
economic slowdown in a decade. The currency is set to depreciate
about 0.2% for the week.
    The Thai baht, the Singapore dollar, the
Indonesian rupiah and the Malaysian ringgit
were all flat, but were on track to post steep weekly losses.
    The Chinese offshore yuan was little changed at
6.9789, but was 0.7% weaker for the week.
    Onshore markets were closed on account of the extended Lunar
New year holidays and will resume trading on Feb. 3.
    An official survey showed growth in China's factory activity
faltered in January, as export orders fell, while the virus
outbreak added to risks. 
        
    WON WEAKENS
    The South Korean slipped up to 0.6% to its
weakest level in seven weeks and was set for a fifth consecutive
session of losses.
    South Korea's December factory output exceeded forecasts as
soaring chip production fuelled industrial activity, but the for
the whole of last year, it fell 0.7%, in its worst reading since
1998.
    
    
 Change on the day at   0608 GMT                  
 Currency               Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
 Japan yen              109.030     108.95        -0.07
 Sing dlr               1.363       1.3615        -0.07
 Taiwan dlr             30.232      30.277        +0.15
 Korean won             1189.500    1185          -0.38
 Baht                   31.140      31.11         -0.10
 Peso                   50.865      50.98         +0.23
 Rupiah                 13650.000   13640         -0.07
 Rupee                  71.503      71.48         -0.03
 Ringgit                4.087       4.0855        -0.04
                                                  
 Change so far in 2020                            
 Currency               Latest bid  End 2019      Pct Move
 Japan yen              109.030     108.61        -0.39
 Sing dlr               1.363       1.3444        -1.33
 Taiwan dlr             30.232      30.106        -0.42
 Korean won             1189.500    1156.40       -2.78
 Baht                   31.140      29.91         -3.95
 Peso                   50.865      50.65         -0.42
 Rupiah                 13650.000   13880         +1.68
 Rupee                  71.503      71.38         -0.17
 Ringgit                4.087       4.0890        +0.05
 Yuan                   6.937       6.9632        +0.38
 

 (Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; editing by
Uttaresh.V)
  
 
 
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