* Caution prevails ahead of key Fed meeting
* Thai baht up 0.3 pct, the biggest gainer
(Adds details, updates prices)
By Susan Mathew
June 13 Most Asian emerging currencies moved
only marginally on Tuesday, as traders awaited a Federal
Reserve meeting that is expected to raise the U.S. benchmark
interest rate and signal the pace of further hikes in 2017.
The biggest mover was the Thai baht, which
strengthened 0.3 percent to a near two-year high.
Traders and analysts throughout the region were looking for
key information after the two-day Fed meeting that begins later
on Wednesday. It has raised rates once so far this year, in
"We are looking at three rate hikes this year, but
investors are not fully priced in for the third one," said Irene
Cheung, ANZ's senior FX strategist for Asia.
The Fed is scheduled to release its decision at 1800 GMT
Wednesday. It is widely expected to raise its benchmark due to a
tightening labour market and may provide detail on its plans to
shrink the bond portfolio it amassed to nurse the U.S. economic
On Tuesday, the Singapore dollar edged 0.07 percent
higher. Data out earlier in the day showed that first-quarter
final unemployment in Singapore was 2.2 percent, versus the
preliminary 2.3 percent.
The Malaysian ringgit was 0.15 percent higher after
a long weekend. Analysts said they believed inflows were keeping
The continuing sell-off in tech stocks in the U.S. kept the
Taiwan dollar and South Korean won under pressure, analysts
The Taiwan dollar, which has fallen the past five
sessions, was down 0.1 percent to its lowest in nearly three
The South Korean won declined as much as 0.3
percent and hit its lowest in nearly four weeks.
Some traders in South Korea were surprised by comments on
Monday by central bank governor Lee Ju-yeol they saw as
indicating that monetary policy could be tightened.
But on Tuesday, Lee clarified that his comment on rate
adjustment was not a sign that policy might be tightened soon,
and that rates would remain "accommodative".
The baht rose to near two-year highs, buoyed by strong
current account surplus and portfolio inflows.
Data on Monday also showed that international tourist
arrivals in Thailand rose 4.6 percent in May from a year
earlier, with revenue up 6.9 percent.
Tourism accounts for 12 percent of Southeast Asia's
CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
Change on the day at 0601 GMT
Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move
Japan yen 110.020 109.92 -0.09
Sing dlr 1.383 1.3839 +0.07
Taiwan dlr 30.202 30.176 -0.09
Korean won 1128.500 1127.3 -0.11
Baht 33.963 34.07 +0.32
Peso 49.565 49.5 -0.13
Rupiah 13293.000 13297 +0.03
Rupee 64.440 64.44 -0.01
Ringgit 4.257 4.2635 +0.15
Yuan 6.797 6.7988 +0.03
Change so far in 2017
Currency Latest bid End 2016 Pct Move
Japan yen 110.020 117.07 +6.41
Sing dlr 1.383 1.4490 +4.78
Taiwan dlr 30.202 32.279 +6.88
Korean won 1128.500 1207.70 +7.02
Baht 33.963 35.80 +5.41
Peso 49.565 49.72 +0.31
Rupiah 13293.000 13470 +1.33
Rupee 64.440 67.92 +5.40
Ringgit 4.257 4.4845 +5.34
Yuan 6.797 6.9467 +2.20
(Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard