* 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 sentiment.
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. CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR 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)