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Won and Taiwan dollar touch fresh multi-month lows
December 28, 2016 / 5:13 AM / a year ago

Won and Taiwan dollar touch fresh multi-month lows

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - The South Korean won and Taiwan dollar set fresh multi-month lows on Wednesday, after strong U.S. economic data reinforced expectations that the Federal Reserve would be more hawkish in 2017.

Fifty thousand won notes are piled up after being counted at a bank during a photo opportunity in Seoul October 13, 2010. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won/File Photo

The won touched a 9-1/2 month low of 1,208.5 per U.S. dollar as of 0447 GMT. The Taiwan dollar set a 5-1/2 month low of 32.318.

Both the won and the Taiwan dollar have come under renewed pressure against the greenback after the Fed earlier this month raised interest rates for the first time in a year, and signalled three more hikes in 2017.

While the moves in Asian currencies on Wednesday were small, they were trading at levels that underscored their weak tone.

The Singapore dollar edged up 0.1 percent to 1.4491 per U.S. dollar, having set a 7-year low of 1.4519 on Tuesday.

There are limited reasons for now to pare back bearish bets against emerging Asian currencies, said Masashi Murata, currency strategist for Brown Brothers Harriman in Tokyo.

“It is hard to buy back Asian currencies, given that their economies aren’t doing that great, and also taking into account how U.S. yields have risen,” he said.

U.S. economic indicators released on Tuesday helped to underpin the greenback. U.S. consumer confidence rose to the highest in more than 15 years in December, while home prices continued their steady recovery in October.

Emerging Asian currencies have declined broadly since early November as U.S. bond yields jumped on expectations that Donald Trump’s proposals for infrastructure spending and tax cuts will boost economic growth and inflation.

Such rises in U.S. bond yields increase the dollar’s appeal and reduce the attractiveness of investing in emerging market assets.

THAI BAHT

The baht eased 0.1 percent to 36.02. Dollar-selling interest from local exporters, however, helped to temper its decline.

Reporting by Masayuki Kitano; Additional reporting by IFR Markets' Catherine Tan

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