May 28, 2014 / 5:38 AM / 4 years ago

EM ASIA FX-U.S. data, weak yuan drag Asia FX; baht steady on intervention

* Thai spotted limiting baht's losses -traders
    * Philippine peso falls as maturing NDFs boost dollar demand
    * Singapore dlr up on exporters, 55-day moving avg support

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Jongwoo Cheon
    SINGAPORE, May 28 (Reuters) - The Philippine peso led losses
among emerging Asian currencies on Wednesday, pressured by
upbeat U.S. economic data and a weaker Chinese yuan, while the
Thai baht recovered most of its initial losses - with central
bank intervention spotted.
    The peso hit a near three-week low, tracking its
weakness in the non-deliverable forwards (NDF) market
    Indonesia's rupiah fell on importers' dollar demand
for month-end payments.
    Spot Chinese yuan flirted with fresh 18-month lows against
the dollar as investors focused on negative news from the
property sector as further evidence of a slowdown in the
    The dollar held steady around an eight-week high
against a basket of six major currencies after data showing U.S.
durable goods sales unexpectedly rose in April and consumer
confidence perked up in May. 
    Still, analysts said the data has not prompted the U.S.
Federal Reserve to consider an early interest rate hike yet, so
emerging Asian currencies may not weaken further.
    "On a one-month time horizon, I would buy Asia. The recent
sell-off has created good entry points for long (positions),"
said Sean Yokota, head of Asia strategy at Scandinavian bank SEB
in Singapore.
    "We have some profit-taking into the month-end after good
performance in INR and CNY," Yokota said, referring to the
Indian rupee and the yuan.
    Last week, the rupee hit an 11-month high on hopes the
recent landslide election victory of the Bharatiya Janata Party
would bring in a government willing to undertake substantial
economic reform.
    Emerging Asian currencies have benefited extensively from
monetary easing by major central banks as investors sought out
higher returns from EM assets.
    The peso fell as much as 0.4 percent to 43.965 per dollar,
its weakest since May 8 when Standard & Poor's raised the
Philippines' rating to two notches above investment grade.
    Dollar demand linked to maturing NDFs put pressure on the
peso, traders said.
    "It is better to be long (dollar) on dips close to 43.85,"
said a senior Philippine bank trader in Manila, adding the
peso's slides accelerated after it weakened past 43.83, its low
on May 21.
    The baht eased 0.1 percent to 32.67 per dollar, its weakest
since Feb. 19, tracking weakness in other Asian currencies.
    The Thai currency, however, recovered all of the losses as
the central bank was spotted intervening around the low to curb
the falls, traders said.
    Thailand's imports in April dropped 14.54 percent from a
year earlier, indicating reduced dollar demand from local
    Factory output fell for a 13th straight month in April, and 
 even though the slide was less than expected it underscored the
extent of economic damage from the prolonged political unrest.
    The Singapore dollar gained on month-end demand
from domestic companies such as exporters.
    The currency also has a chart support at 1.2565, a 55-day
moving average. It has been closing the daily session firmer
than average since March 25.
    Still, some hedge funds sold the Singapore dollar and a
weaker yuan limited its gains.
    Change on the day at 0440 GMT
  Currency    Latest bid   Previous day    Pct Move
  Japan yen       101.93         101.98       +0.05
  Sing dlr        1.2553         1.2565       +0.10
  Taiwan dlr      30.111         30.171       +0.20
  Korean won     1022.30        1023.20       +0.09
  Baht             32.65          32.63       -0.06
  Peso             43.94          43.78       -0.36
  Rupiah        11605.00       11575.00       -0.26
  Rupee            59.14          59.04       -0.17
  Ringgit         3.2195         3.2170       -0.08
  Yuan            6.2586         6.2486       -0.16
  Change so far in 2014
  Currency    Latest bid  End prev year    Pct Move
  Japan yen       101.93         105.28       +3.28
  Sing dlr        1.2553         1.2632       +0.63
  Taiwan dlr      30.111         29.950       -0.53
  Korean won     1022.30        1055.40       +3.24
  Baht             32.65          32.86       +0.64
  Peso             43.94          44.40       +1.04
  Rupiah        11605.00       12160.00       +4.78
  Rupee            59.14          61.80       +4.50
  Ringgit         3.2195         3.2755       +1.74
  Yuan            6.2586         6.0539       -3.27
 (Additional reporting by Satawasin Staporncharnchai; Editing by
Eric Meijer)
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