July 13, 2017 / 5:57 AM / 2 months ago

EM ASIA FX- Asian FX rise as Yellen's unhurried tightening stance dents dollar

 (Adds details, updates prices)
    By Susan Mathew
    July 13 (Reuters) - Asian currencies were higher on Thursday
as the dollar took a knock after Federal Reserve Chair Janet
Yellen signalled further rate increases in the United States
will be gradual at best.
    The dollar index, which measures the U.S. currency
against six major rivals, was down 0.2 percent to 95.609 at 0506
GMT.
    Yellen said on Wednesday the U.S. economy is healthy enough
for the Fed to raise rates, though low inflation and a low
neutral rate may leave the central bank with diminished leeway.

    "Some may argue that her remarks overnight were dovish, but
we argue that they are rather balanced to some extent," said
Christopher Wong, senior FX strategist for Maybank.
    The Philippine peso gained 0.2 percent,
recovering a little from fresh eleven year lows it had hit this
week, partly due to a widening goods trade deficit.
    The Taiwan dollar rose as much as 0.6 percent,
posting its biggest intraday percentage gain in three months,
while the Indonesian rupiah tacked on 0.3 percent, its
biggest intraday percentage gain since April 25.
    The Indian rupee was up 0.2 percent, it highest in
more than three weeks on rising expectations of an interest rate
increase.
    Inflation data out on Wednesday showing benign price
pressures left the door open for a 25-basis-point cut by the
Reserve Bank of India.   
    The next focus for markets will be Yellen's testimony to the
Senate Banking Panel and U.S. inflation data on Friday. 
 
    
    CHINESE YUAN 
    The Chinese yuan rose 0.2 percent, reflecting a
broadly weaker dollar and a higher mid-point set by the People's
Bank of China.
     There was muted reaction to solid Chinese trade numbers 
released earlier in the day, although the data reinforced a
growing view that the world's second-biggest economy is holding
its own even though the outlook has dimmed somewhat on the back
of Beijing's crackdown on debt risks.


    SOUTH KOREAN WON
    The won gained the most in the region, up 0.8
percent, its highest in more than two weeks.
    South Korea's central bank held its policy rate at a
record-low 1.25 percent for a 13th straight month on Thursday, a
widely expected decision as policy makers seek to boost subdued
private consumption and keep any thoughts of tightening off the
table for now.
    Stephen Innes, senior trader from Oanda sees this as good
sign as "it will keep the equity markets in a pretty good mood.
A rate hike could have tampered equity markets as much of the
inflow in South Korea has been predicated on the back of low
equity valuations."
    The benchmark South Korea stock index was up 1.2
percent.
 
    CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
    
 Change on the day at 0506 GMT                
 Currency           Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
 Japan yen          113.000     113.13        +0.12
 Sing dlr           1.377       1.3773        +0.06
 Taiwan dlr         30.315      30.490        +0.58
 Korean won         1136.300    1145.1        +0.77
 Baht               33.930      34.02         +0.27
 Peso               50.460      50.55         +0.18
 Rupiah             13333.000   13369         +0.27
 Rupee              64.428      64.54         +0.17
 Ringgit            4.287       4.292         +0.12
 Yuan               6.779       6.7888        +0.15
                                              
 Change so far in                             
 2017                                         
 Currency           Latest bid  End 2016      Pct Move
 Japan yen          113.000     117.07        +3.60
 Sing dlr           1.377       1.4490        +5.27
 Taiwan dlr         30.315      32.279        +6.48
 Korean won         1136.300    1207.70       +6.28
 Baht               33.930      35.80         +5.51
 Peso               50.460      49.72         -1.47
 Rupiah             13333.000   13470         +1.03
 Rupee              64.428      67.92         +5.42
 Ringgit            4.287       4.4845        +4.61
 Yuan               6.779       6.9467        +2.48
 

 (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru)
  
 
 

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