Most Asian units inch down on China growth, global trade worries

* Indonesian central bank rate decision due later in day
* Singapore Dec exports -8.5 pct y/y, worst decline since
Oct 2016

(Adds text, updates prices)
By Niyati Shetty
Jan 17 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies edged down on
Thursday, reflecting uncertainty over China's economic growth
outlook and reminders of discord in Sino-U.S relations.
China's central bank said on Thursday it would make another
big cash injection through open market operations, after a
record net liquidity injection of $83 billion a day earlier,
seeking to avoid a cash crunch ahead of a long holiday period.

Earlier this week, poor Chinese trade data prompted
officials to signal further supportive measures to shore up
growth in the world's second largest economy.
The Chinese yuan faltered as much as 0.2 percent
against the greenback.
In a move that might have added to risk-off sentiment, U.S.
lawmakers introduced bipartisan bills on Wednesday that would
ban the sale of U.S. chips or other components to Huawei
Technologies Co Ltd and other Chinese telecom companies
that violate U.S. sanctions.
Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday
that U.S. prosecutors are investigating Huawei for allegedly
stealing trade secrets and could soon issue an indictment.

Among Asian currencies, the Indonesian rupiah led
declines, softening as much as 0.4 percent as the market awaited
a central bank rate decision expected after 0700 GMT.
On Wednesday, Bank Indonesia Governor Perry Warjiyo said he
considers its benchmark interest rate to be "near its peak" but
will maintain the central bank's "pre-emptive and ahead of the
curve" approach.
Mizuho Bank, in a note on Thursday, said it expects a rate
hold "against a backdrop of receding tail risks and
corresponding macro stability vulnerabilities".
Between May and November, central bank raised rates six
times. All 20 analysts in a Reuters poll expect no change on
Also softening against the dollar on Thursday were the
Korean won and the Philippine peso.

The Singapore dollar was modestly lower on Thursday
as the city-state's exports had their biggest decline in more
than two years in December.
The trade-reliant country saw a fall of 8.5 percent in
non-oil domestic exports (NODX), as electronic and
pharmaceutical shipments plunged.
The bleak data is in line with dismal export data from other
Asian economies including China, South Korea, Taiwan,
Philippines and Indonesia.
OCBC Bank said it expected Singapore's export growth to
continue to disappoint this year "barring any rapid turnaround
in US-China trade talks and a firm resolution to the contentious
issues between US and China."

The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar at 0432 GMT.

Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move
Japan yen 109.030 109.08 +0.05
Sing dlr 1.357 1.3549 -0.14
Taiwan dlr 30.833 30.831 -0.01
Korean won 1121.700 1120.1 -0.14
Baht 31.670 31.6975 +0.09
Peso 52.240 52.165 -0.14
Rupiah 14160.000 14115 -0.32
Rupee 71.275 71.24 -0.05
Ringgit 4.111 4.108 -0.07
Yuan 6.767 6.7580 -0.13

Change so far in 2019
Currency Latest bid End 2018 Pct Move
Japan yen 109.030 109.56 +0.49
Sing dlr 1.357 1.3627 +0.43
Taiwan dlr 30.833 30.733 -0.32
Korean won 1121.700 1115.70 -0.53
Baht 31.670 32.55 +2.78
Peso 52.240 52.47 +0.44
Rupiah 14160.000 14375 +1.52
Rupee 71.275 69.77 -2.11
Ringgit 4.111 4.1300 +0.46
Yuan 6.767 6.8730 +1.57

(Reporting by Niyati Shetty in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard

First Published: 2019-01-17 03:38:31
Updated 2019-01-17 07:29:29

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