October 7, 2009 / 6:07 AM / 10 years ago

EM ASIA FX-Singapore dlr, baht ease on suspected intervention

 * Gains in Singapore dollar, baht seen checked by c.banks
 * Dollar-buying intervention also weighs on Korean won
 * Peso eases on dollar covering, deemed as overbought
 By Kevin Yao
 SINGAPORE, Oct 7 (Reuters) - The Singapore dollar and Thai
baht eased on Wednesday after suspected official interventions
to temper their gains, while the Philippine peso retreated as
investors moved to cover short dollar positions.
 The U.S. dollar remained on the defensive against major
currencies .DXY, while the high-yielding Australian dollar
AUD=D4 hovered near 14-month highs after the central bank
raised interest rates on Tuesday. [ID:nT274105]
 China's markets remained shut for a long holiday.
 The baht THB=TH fell to 33.45 per dollar from Tuesdsay's
close of 33.33, the highest since July 2008, on suspected
central bank intervention.
 "It looks like the Bank of Thailand has been in the market
to restrain baht gains. It's a power play with the baht being
caught between BoT and sustained foreign inflows into the Thai
stock market," a dealer at a Thai bank said.
 Central banks in South Korea, Thailand and Taiwan have
intervened more aggressively than their regional peers in
recent weeks to curb the rise in their currencies, traders say.
 The won KRW= briefly hit 1,165.3 per dollar compared to
Tuesday's domestic close at 1,170.3, but later pulled back to
1,170 as traders cited official dollar-buying intervention.
 Singapore dollar SGD= eased to 1.4047/USD after hitting
as high as 1.3989 late Tuesday, when it broke the 1.4 level for
the first time since Aug. 8, 2008.
 "It was rumoured that the authority was in (the market)
after U.S. dollar/Singapore dollar fell below 1.4, so the
market is buying back U.S. dollars," said a Singapore-based
trader, adding that a softer euro EUR= also weighed on
 The Singapore dollar has gained 11 percent against the U.S.
dollar since March, fanning speculation that the central bank
will intervene to temper its rise.
 The central bank is widely expected to keep its zero
appreciation policy unchanged next Monday, seen by analysts as
a balancing act to cement recovery while heading off possible
asset bubbles. [ID:nSP440816]
 The peso PHP= shed a third of a percent to 46.75 per
dollar as the unit was seen as technically overbought after its
4 percent gain against the dollar since the start of September.
 "The persistent peso buying has dried up in the market,
leading to a short squeeze," said a Manila-based dealer.
 The 14-day dollar/peso relative strength index (RSI) dipped
to 26.5 on Tuesday, indicating peso was overbought.
 Three-month offshore dollar/peso non-deliverable forwards
PHPNDFOR= rose to 46.93, implying a 0.5 percent peso fall
from the spot, little changed from Tuesday.
 Change on the day at 0522 GMT
 Currency    Latest bid   Previous day    Pct Move
 Japan yen        88.71          88.76       +0.06
 Sing dlr        1.4014         1.4018       +0.03
 Taiwan dlr      32.173         32.180       +0.02
 Korean won     1169.80        1170.30       +0.04
 Baht             33.35          33.33       -0.06
 Peso             46.65          46.60       -0.11
 Rupiah         9437.00        9440.00       +0.03
 Rupee            46.71          46.87       +0.35
 Ringgit         3.4250         3.4335       +0.25
 Change so far in 2009
 Currency    Latest bid  End prev year    Pct Move
 Japan yen        88.71          90.60       +2.13
 Sing dlr        1.4014         1.4340       +2.33
 Taiwan dlr      32.173         32.860       +2.14
 Korean won     1169.80        1259.50       +7.67
 Baht             33.35          34.80       +4.35
 Peso             46.65          47.52       +1.86
 Rupiah         9437.00       11000.00      +16.56
 Rupee            46.71          48.71       +4.29
 Ringgit         3.4250         3.4500       +0.73
 Yuan            6.8263         6.8230       -0.05
 (Additional reporting by Vithoon Amorn in Bangkok)
 (Editing by Kim Coghill)

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