POLL-Investors go long on Asian currencies, Indian rupee bets at 3-year high

    * Investors hold long positions on nine Asian currencies
    * Bets on Indonesian rupiah turn bullish for first time
since June
    * Long bets on yuan, won, Singapore dollar, ringgit at early

    By Nikhil Nainan
    BENGALURU, Sept 3 (Reuters) - Long positions on India's
rupee were sharply raised to a three-year high, a Reuters poll
found, as the central bank cut back on dollar-buying, while a
weaker greenback and encouraging economic  recovery signs
propped up bullish bets on other Asian currencies.
    The fortnightly poll of 13 respondents showed investors held
long positions on all nine Asian currencies for the first time
since late January, before the COVID-19 pandemic dealt its
devastating economic blow.
    The rupee has appreciated close to 3% over the past
two weeks after the central bank cut back on aggressive
dollar-buying it has been undertaking in recent months to build
reserves and keep the currency in check to help exports and its
virus-hit economy.
    India's economy shrank 23.9% in the three months to June,
much more than forecast, pointing to a longer than previously
expected recovery, with analysts calling for further stimulus.

    "A sustained rally in the rupee is unlikely," BofA Global
Research said in a note this week, as domestic demand and
movement increase and the government pushes local production.
    Long bets on the Chinese yuan, South Korea's won
, Singapore's dollar and the Malaysian ringgit
 were all raised to their highest since early 2018.
    Data showing the Chinese services sector expanded again last
month has added to hopes that the world's second-largest economy
was rebounding strongly, and returning to pre-COVID-19 levels of
    Long bets on the yuan have been hiked in five consecutive
polls, and global investment banks now bet the currency's recent
rally will be sustained due to persistent dollar softness and
continued capital inflows.
    The biggest risk to the yuan and the Chinese recovery comes
from worsening relations with the United States. Goldman Sachs
said this week that despite tensions, the trade deal the two
signed in January looks unlikely to break down this year.
    Improving risk sentiment across Asia has been supported by
the four months of declines in the dollar, and with the new
Federal Reserve approach of achieving maximum employment and not
worrying too much about its impact on inflation. This suggests
interest rates will likely remain at near-zero for years to
    Meanwhile, investors turned bullish on the Indonesian rupiah
 for the first time since June, latching on to improving
appetite for risk and interest rate differentials, all in spite
of worries about the central bank's independence.
    The rupiah is an interest rate carry trade favourite. 
    The Asian currency positioning poll is focused on what
analysts and fund managers believe are the current market
positions in nine Asian emerging market currencies: the Chinese
yuan, South Korean won, Singapore dollar, Indonesian rupiah,
Taiwan dollar, Indian rupee, Philippine peso, Malaysian ringgit
and the Thai baht.
    The poll uses estimates of net long or short positions on a
scale of minus 3 to plus 3. A score of plus 3 indicates the
market is significantly long U.S. dollars.
    The figures include positions held through non-deliverable
forwards (NDFs).
    The survey findings are below (positions in U.S.
dollar versus each currency):
 DD/MM  CNY    KRW    SGD    IDR    TWD    INR    MYR    PHP    THB
 03/09  -1.41  -0.71  -0.99  -0.19  -0.40  -0.91  -0.96  -1.34  -0.15
 20/08  -1.02  -0.71  -0.69  0.43   -0.31  -0.35  -0.62  -1.12  -0.21
 06/08  -0.81  -0.44  -0.57  0.45   -0.54  -0.31  -0.29  -0.76  -0.2
 23/07  -0.8   -0.19  -0.09  0.61   -0.34  -0.38  -0.22  -0.61  0.24
 09/07  -0.37  -0.06  0.13   0.26   -0.22  -0.33  -0.07  -0.48  -0.09
 25/06  0.08   0.16   -0.05  -0.05  -0.28  0.10   0.07   -0.05  -0.24
 11/06  0.14   -0.05  -0.19  -0.69  -0.26  0.00   0.08   -0.39  -0.41
 28/05  0.72   0.80   0.41   -0.05  0.05   0.28   0.52   -0.04  -0.05
 14/05  0.23   0.57   0.34   0.21   0.00   0.68   0.69   -0.29  0.01
 30/04  0.07   0.73   0.24   0.58   0.08   0.84   0.80   0.00   0.38

 (Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Editing by
Subhranshu Sahu)