September 20, 2017 / 5:08 AM / 9 months ago

EM ASIA FX-Won shrugs off Trump's threat to "totally destroy" North Korea

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Anusha Ravindranath
    Sept 20 (Reuters) - The South Korean won
strengthened against the dollar on Wednesday, brushing aside
U.S. President Donald Trump's statement that the United States
may have to "totally destroy" North Korea.
    Most other emerging Asian currencies were trading mixed
while the dollar edged up as traders awaited the outcome of the
Federal Reserve's meeting at which the Fed was expected to
announce plans to trim its bond holdings.
    In a speech to the U.N. General Assembly, Trump on Tuesday
said the U.S. will be forced to destroy North Korea unless
Pyongyang backs down from its nuclear challenge, mocking North
Korean leader Kim Jong Un as a "rocket man" on a suicide
    Tuesday warning follows similar Trump statements, in which
he vowed to unleash "fire and fury" if Pyongyang threatened the
United States's safety.
    "We believe it's more about posturing but in reality there
seem to be few options to resolve this issue outside of talks.
Market behaviour largely reflects that," said Tariq Ali,
investment strategist at Standard Chartered Bank.
    "Generally, markets are used to these kind of statements
comming from both sides and they are not paying too much
attention to North Korea at this time and are focused on the Fed
meeting," Ali added.
    The won, which has been pressured of late amid the ongoing
political tensions was unswayed by Trump's strong rhetoric and
gained as much as 0.4 percent versus the dollar. 
    China's yuan regained its footing after weakening
in the previous session, while Taiwan dollar hit its
highest in more than two weeks. 

    The peso rose to its highest in more than a week
to trade at 50.80 against the dollar, before paring gains. 
    The central bank said on Tuesday that the Philippines'
balance of payment deficit stood at $1.39 billion as of
end-August, narrower than in the same period last year.

    "I think there have been a lot of inflows lately, and it's
been boosting the peso" said Jason Manalac, a trader at
Philippine Bank of Communications.
    "But looks like some coprorate demand came in through for
dollars and probably that's why it (peso) went back to 50.93,"
he added.

The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against the
dollar at 0437 GMT.
  Change on the day at                           
        0437 GMT                            
  Currency                Latest  Previous    Pct
                             bid       day   Move
  Japan yen              111.480    111.58  +0.09
  Sing dlr               1.346      1.3464  +0.03
  Taiwan dlr             30.102     30.137  +0.12
  Korean won             1128.20    1131.3  +0.27
  Baht                   33.074     33.075  +0.00
  Peso                   50.930     50.915  -0.03
  Rupiah                 13270.0     13275  +0.04
  Rupee                  64.305      64.33  +0.03
  Ringgit                4.192        4.19  -0.04
  Yuan                   6.568      6.5860  +0.28
  Change so far                                  
  Currency               Latest   End 2016    Pct
                         bid                 Move
  Japan yen              111.480    117.07  +5.01
  Sing dlr               1.346      1.4490  +7.65
  Taiwan dlr             30.102     32.279  +7.23
  Korean won             1128.20   1207.70  +7.05
  Baht                   33.074      35.80  +8.24
  Peso                   50.930      49.72  -2.38
  Rupiah                 13270.0     13470  +1.51
  Rupee                  64.305      67.92  +5.62
  Ringgit                4.192      4.4845  +6.99
  Yuan                   6.568      6.9467  +5.77

 (Reporting by Anusha Ravindranath in Bengaluru)
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