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EM ASIA FX-Yuan hits 6-1/2-month high; other currencies rise in tight range
May 31, 2017 / 6:52 AM / 6 months ago

EM ASIA FX-Yuan hits 6-1/2-month high; other currencies rise in tight range

 (Add details, updates prices)
    By Ambar Warrick
    May 31 (Reuters) - Asian currencies rose on Wednesday as
strong manufacturing data from China coupled with a risk-happy
market environment spurred interest in emerging currencies, with
the Chinese yuan jumping to its highest in six-and-a-half
    The Chinese yuan shot up as trading resumed
following an extended weekend, rising about 0.4 percent against
the dollar. The currency posted its biggest intraday percentage
gain in over four months.
    Yuan stands to gain around 1 percent in May after shedding
about 0.2 percent in April.
    Trading in other currencies however was in a tight range as
some investors held back in anticipation of U.S. wage data
coming in this Friday.
    "Growth has remained decent globally, with the Chinese PMI
data being better than expected," said Nizam Idris, head of
strategy, fixed income and currencies at Macquarie Bank. 
    "Its an environment that's quite conducive for risk taking."
    The U.S. wage data could affect yields and markets will look
to this data as a trigger, Nizam said.
    The offshore yuan firmed sharply after Hong Kong's
overnight yuan borrowing rate jumped to its highest
point in nearly five months.
    The Chinese manufacturing and services sectors grew faster
than expected in May as activity in the steel industry
rebounded, assuaging fears of slowing economic momentum.

    The South Korean won rose about 0.5 percent
against the dollar, snapping three straight sessions of losses.
    The won saw moderate support from exporters' end-month
dollar-selling, but remained confined to a tight trading range
as investors awaited upcoming economic data. The won is on track
to gain about 1.5 percent in May.
    The Indian rupee gained nearly 0.2 percent against
the dollar on Wednesday, snapping two consecutive days of
losses. It stands to lose about 0.5 percent in May.
    "The southwest monsoon rains reached southern Kerala coast
and Northeast India simultaneously on Tuesday. An early arrival
of monsoon will bring added optimism to India's stock markets,"
said Scotiabank in a note.
    India is also scheduled to release GDP data for the first
quarter of 2017 later on Wednesday, with a median forecast from
a poll of 35 economists showing the economy grew 7.1 percent
    The Singapore dollar fell as much as 0.18 percent on
Wednesday before stabilising at near flat levels. It stands to
gain about 0.86 percent this month.
    "There's a lack of domestic drivers here," said Nizam. "A
positive risk appetite environment doesn't  benefit the
Singapore dollar too much as it has really low yields."
    Ratings agency Moody's changed its outlook to 'stable' from
'negative' for Singapore's banking system, citing improving
growth, receding risks to asset quality and profitability.

 Change on the day at   0643 GMT                        
 Currency                     Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
 Japan yen                    110.910     110.82        -0.08
 Sing dlr                     1.383       1.3838        +0.05
 Taiwan dlr                   30.088      30.122        +0.11
 Korean won                   1119.500    1125.1        +0.50
 Baht                         34.030      34.11         +0.24
 Peso                         49.740      49.84         +0.20
 Rupiah                       13315.000   13323         +0.06
 Rupee                        64.525      64.66         +0.20
 Ringgit                      4.275       4.281         +0.14
 Yuan                         6.825       6.8525        +0.40
 Change so far in 2017                                  
 Currency                     Latest bid  End 2016      Pct Move
 Japan yen                    110.910     117.07        +5.55
 Sing dlr                     1.383       1.4490        +4.76
 Taiwan dlr                   30.088      32.279        +7.28
 Korean won                   1119.500    1207.70       +7.88
 Baht                         34.030      35.80         +5.20
 Peso                         49.740      49.72         -0.04
 Rupiah                       13315.000   13470         +1.16
 Rupee                        64.525      67.92         +5.26
 Ringgit                      4.275       4.4845        +4.90
 Yuan                         6.825       6.9467        +1.78
 (Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Gopakumar

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