Most Asian units soften against broadly firmer dlr

* Philippine peso leads declines in region
* India trade deficit narrows to 10-mth low

(Adds text, updates prices)
By Niyati Shetty
Jan 16 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies faltered on
Wednesday as the dollar steadied overnight amidst uncertainty
over the European economy and Brexit, while apprehensions about
a global economic slowdown continued to dampen risk appetite.
Leading declines in the region, the Philippine peso
softened 0.3 percent, and posted its biggest intraday percentage
loss in two weeks.
The greenback had climbed to a more than one week
high overnight on the back of economic weakness in Europe and
uncertainty over Brexit, after British lawmakers voted against
Prime Minister Theresa May's proposed deal with the EU.

Regional currencies weakened on Wednesday despite having
firmed in the last session after Chinese officials said they
would introduce further measures to support the economy.

Sentiment was also dampened by reported comments from U.S.
Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer that he did not see any
progress made on structural issues during the Sino-U.S. trade
talks in Beijing last week.
Market participants have been concerned about the economic
ramifications of the long-drawn U.S.-China trade war due to a
slew of weak export data from Asian countries including China,
South Korea and Taiwan.
The Indonesian rupiah weakened as much as 0.5 percent
in early trade, pressured by December trade data released on
Tuesday showed the trade deficit at its widest for 2018 as
exports contracted more than expected.
The Korean won, the Chinese yuan and
the Malaysian ringgit were marginally weaker against the
greenback.

INDIAN RUPEE
The rupee traded sideways after government data on
Tuesday showed the country's trade deficit narrow in December to
its lowest in ten months.
The deficit shrank on a fall in gold imports, while exports
remained flat, deepening concerns for Prime Minister Narendra
Modi who wants to accelerate growth ahead of national elections
due by May.
Signalling further cooling in the economy, data out on
Monday showed India's annual inflation dropped to an 18-month
low in December.
"Looking ahead, we are likely to witness an oncoming
monetary easing in India," MIDF Amanah Investment Bank said in a
note to clients.

The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar at 0538 GMT.
CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move
Japan yen 108.480 108.66 +0.17
Sing dlr 1.354 1.3560 +0.12
Taiwan dlr 30.838 30.820 -0.06
Korean won 1120.000 1120.7 +0.06
Baht 31.770 31.9 +0.41
Peso 52.170 52 -0.33
Rupiah 14100.000 14085 -0.11
Rupee 71.053 71.04 -0.02
Ringgit 4.111 4.103 -0.18
Yuan 6.767 6.7610 -0.09

Change so far in 2019
Currency Latest bid End 2018 Pct Move
Japan yen 108.480 109.56 +1.00
Sing dlr 1.354 1.3627 +0.61
Taiwan dlr 30.838 30.733 -0.34
Korean won 1120.000 1115.70 -0.38
Baht 31.770 32.55 +2.46
Peso 52.170 52.47 +0.58
Rupiah 14100.000 14375 +1.95
Rupee 71.053 69.77 -1.81
Ringgit 4.111 4.1300 +0.47
Yuan 6.767 6.8730 +1.56

(Reporting by Niyati Shetty in Bengaluru)



First Published: 2019-01-16 03:43:07
Updated 2019-01-16 08:02:01


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