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EM ASIA FX-US jobs, weak China trade hurt Asia FX; ringgit, rupiah lowest since 2008-09 crisis
December 8, 2014 / 5:07 AM / 3 years ago

EM ASIA FX-US jobs, weak China trade hurt Asia FX; ringgit, rupiah lowest since 2008-09 crisis

* Ringgit falls on sliding oil prices; intervention spotted
    * Rupiah slides on corp dollar bids, JISDOR at record low
    * Yuan turns weaker despite strong fix

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Jongwoo Cheon
    SINGAPORE, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Most emerging Asian currencies
fell on Monday with Malaysia's ringgit and Indonesia's rupiah at
lows since the 2008-09 global financial crisis as strong U.S.
jobs data boosted expectations of an early Federal Reserve
interest rate hike.
    Regional units also came under pressure as China's November
imports unexpectedly fell, while exports growth eased,
increasing concerns over a sharp slowdown in the world's
second-largest economy. The Chinese yuan
 turned weaker despite the central bank setting a
stronger official guidance rate. 
    The ringgit hit a five-year low as oil prices kept
falling, adding to worries that lower crude prices would hurt
Malaysia's current account and fiscal deficit.
    Spot rupiah slid to a six-year trough on the
year-end dollar demand from local companies.
    Thailand's baht weakened past a psychological
support at 33.00 per dollar to hit its weakest since January
when political conflicts in Thailand hit local financial
    U.S. employers added 321,000 jobs in November, the most
since January 2012 and much stronger than expected, data showed
on Friday. The data powered the dollar index
, a gauge of the greenback's performance against six major
currencies, to five-year highs.
    "With estimated net portfolio inflows dissipating into the
year end, expect Asian currency vulnerability to persist into
the year-end," said Emmanuel Ng, a foreign exchange strategist
with OCBC Bank, in a note to clients.
    Emerging Asian currencies have been weakening so far this
year on fears that higher U.S. interest rates will erode
attractiveness of higher yields in the region.
    The ringgit lost as much as 0.9 percent to 3.5030 per
dollar, its weakest since Sept 2009.
    Against the Singapore dollar, the Malaysian unit
fell to 2.6492, its weakest since January 1998.
    Oil prices fell by more than a dollar to their lowest levels
since 2009 after Morgan Stanley cut its price forecast for Brent
    The central bank was spotted intervening to limit
depreciation in the worst-performing emerging Asian currency so
far this year, traders said.
    Still, the ringgit is expected to weaken to 3.5470 to the
U.S. dollar, the 76.4 percent Fibonacci retracement of its
appreciation between 2009 and 2011, as it weakened past a
psychological support at 3.5000, analysts and traders said.
    "You just want to go long USD and make a lot of money," said
a senior Malaysian bank trader in Kuala Lumpur.
    The rupiah fell 0.6 percent to 12,365 per dollar,
its weakest since November 2008.
    The official Jakarta Interbank Spot Dollar Rate (JISDOR),
which the central bank introduced last year in an effort to
manage exchange rate fluctuations, was fixed at 12,352 rupiah
per dollar, the weakest since the launch.
    "The stronger payrolls report was enough to push 1 month
USD/IDR back above the 12,400 level," said Jonathan Cavenagh,
senior FX strategist with Westpac in a client note.
    The rupiah's one-month non-deliverable forwards
 eased to 12,450 per dollar, its weakest since
March 2009.
    "Unless we see heavy intervention today, it's hard to not to
see further upside in the pair, with dips back to 12,340/60
likely to generate good support. Upside targets for the market
are likely to be for a move towards the 12,800 level on a
multi-week outlook."
    Change on the day at 0430 GMT
  Currency    Latest bid   Previous day    Pct Move
  Japan yen       121.49         121.53       +0.03
  Sing dlr        1.3225         1.3226       +0.01
  Taiwan dlr      31.189         31.192       +0.01
  Korean won     1117.00        1114.10       -0.26
  Baht             33.08          32.89       -0.57
 *Peso             44.54          44.54       +0.00
  Rupiah        12353.00       12295.00       -0.47
  Rupee            61.91          61.77       -0.23
  Ringgit         3.5020         3.4710       -0.89
  Yuan            6.1554         6.1502       -0.08
  Change so far in 2014
  Currency    Latest bid  End prev year    Pct Move
  Japan yen       121.49         105.28      -13.35
  Sing dlr        1.3225         1.2632       -4.48
  Taiwan dlr      31.189         29.950       -3.97
  Korean won     1117.00        1055.40       -5.51
  Baht             33.08          32.86       -0.67
  Peso             44.54          44.40       -0.33
  Rupiah        12353.00       12160.00       -1.56
  Rupee            61.91          61.80       -0.18
  Ringgit         3.5020         3.2755       -6.47
  Yuan            6.1554         6.0539       -1.65
  * Financial markets are closed on heavy rains and strong winds
caused by Typhoon Hagupit. 

 (Additional reporting by IFR Markets' Catherine Tan; Editing by
Eric Meijer)

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