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POLL-Investors trim long bets on Asia FX ahead of U.S. election

    * Investors nearly neutral on five of nine emerging Asian currencies
    * Long positions on S.Korean won at near three-year high

    By Shashwat Awasthi
    Oct 29 (Reuters) - Investors scaled back bullish positions in several
emerging Asian currencies, a Reuters poll showed, as they adopt a wait-and-watch
approach on uncertainty ahead of the U.S. presidential election and rising
coronavirus cases globally.
    Market participants turned almost neutral on the Philippine peso and
the Indian rupee, while long positions in the Chinese yuan and
the Singapore dollar were snipped, the fortnightly poll of 13 respondents
    The U.S. dollar, considered a safe-haven asset during times of uncertainty,
has strengthened in recent sessions as escalating coronavirus cases,
particularly in Europe, stoked fears of fresh lockdowns that would hamper a
global economic rebound.
    The greenback's appeal may be enhanced further in the near-term as markets
brace for the Nov. 3 election in the United States, which analysts have warned
could induce even more volatility.
    "There are two dimensions of risk as we head into the U.S. elections -
election outcome and outcome uncertainty," analysts at Singapore-based bank DBS
said in a note last week.
    "The prospect of a contested election leading to risk aversion is
    Investors also cut long bets on the Malaysian ringgit, as a
leadership challenge to Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin stokes political
uncertainty at a time when the country is already grappling with rising
coronavirus infections.
    Taiwan's dollar and South Korea's won continued to be
the stand out picks, with long bets on both currencies nudged higher, as
increased demand for tech gadgets during the pandemic supports exports and spurs
    Bullish positions in the won were at their highest since November 2017,
while those in the Taiwanese dollar remained a more than two-and-a-half year
    Investors also turned slightly less bearish on the Indonesian rupiah,
the region's worst performing currency so far this year.
    Indonesia's central bank said earlier this week that it had room to further
cut its benchmark interest rate and reiterated that the rupiah's exchange rate
remains undervalued.
    The Asian currency positioning poll is focused on what analysts and fund
managers believe are the current market positions in nine Asian emerging market
currencies: the Chinese yuan, South Korean won, Singapore dollar, Indonesian
rupiah, Taiwan dollar, Indian rupee, Philippine peso, Malaysian ringgit and the
Thai baht.
    The poll uses estimates of net long or short positions on a scale of minus 3
to plus 3. A score of plus 3 indicates the market is significantly long U.S.
    The figures include positions held through non-deliverable forwards (NDFs).
    The survey findings are provided below (positions in U.S. dollar
versus each currency):
 DD/MM   CNY    KRW    SGD    IDR    TWD    INR    MYR    PHP    THB
 29/10  -0.86  -1.14  -0.49  0.09   -1.23  -0.07  -0.03  -0.09  -0.02
 15/10  -1.07  -0.94  -0.72  0.35   -1.12  -0.44  -0.33  -0.15  0.10
 01/10  -0.47  -0.53  -0.25  0.61   -0.68  -0.31  -0.31  -0.68  0.38
 17/09  -1.25  -0.60  -0.61  0.39   -0.51  -0.54  -0.89  -1.07  -0.17
 03/09  -1.41  -0.71  -0.99  -0.19  -0.40  -0.91  -0.96  -1.34  -0.15
 20/08  -1.02  -0.71  -0.69  0.43   -0.31  -0.35  -0.62  -1.12  -0.21
 06/08  -0.81  -0.44  -0.57  0.45   -0.54  -0.31  -0.29  -0.76  -0.2
 23/07  -0.8   -0.19  -0.09  0.61   -0.34  -0.38  -0.22  -0.61  0.24
 09/07  -0.37  -0.06  0.13   0.26   -0.22  -0.33  -0.07  -0.48  -0.09
 25/06  0.08   0.16   -0.05  -0.05  -0.28  0.10   0.07   -0.05  -0.24
 (Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)