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China’s yuan slips, on track for worst week in more than a year

* Yuan on track to weaken 1.6% vs dollar for the week * Regional central banks join global peers in easing rates * India cbank will ease again in Oct – Reuters poll * Market sees Philippine cbank cutting rates this year again (Adds text, updates prices) By Nikhil Nainan Aug 9 (Reuters) – China’s yuan, the focus of attention this week, weakened slightly on Friday and was on track for its biggest weekly loss since June 2018 after trade tensions with the United States escalated. Most other Asian currencies barely moved ahead of what for some markets will be a long weekend. The yuan was headed for a loss against the U.S. dollar of about 1.6% for the week, following Monday’s drama when it crossed the key 7 per dollar level for the first time since the global financial crisis. The yuan on Friday was trading 0.1% lower at 7.05 a dollar. The escalating U.S.-China trade war drove much of the volatility across the region this week. “Emerging market currencies have sold off pretty much across the board, reflecting an increase in risk aversion,” Capital Economics said in a note. Last week, U.S. President Donald Trump upped the ante after a period of relative calm by announcing he plans to impose more tariffs on Chinese imports from Sept 1. The Philippine peso lost 0.1% against the greenback to 51.95 the day after the country’s central bank joined a host of other monetary authorities by easing policy in the face of slowing global growth. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas cut rates by 25 basis points, as expected, on Thursday and kept the door open for further easing after economic growth, announced on the same day, slipped to its weakest in 17 quarters. Earlier in the week, there were unexpected actions from India’s central bank, which cut more than predicted, and the Bank of Thailand, which made its first rate cut since 2015. On Friday, the rupee strengthened 0.3% to 70.515 a dollar. A Reuters poll published on Friday said economists see interest rates being cut for a fifth straight Reserve Bank of India meeting in October. The baht advanced 0.1% to 30.73 per dollar. Taiwan was closed for a public holiday. CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR Change on the day at 0547 GMT Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move Japan yen 105.950 106.06 +0.10 Sing dlr 1.381 1.3817 +0.05 Korean won 1210.200 1209.2 -0.08 Baht 30.720 30.75 +0.10 Peso 51.950 51.89 -0.12 Rupiah 14200.000 14205 +0.04 Rupee 70.515 70.69 +0.25 Ringgit 4.186 4.183 -0.06 Yuan 7.050 7.0455 -0.07 Change so far in 2019 Currency Latest bid End 2018 Pct Move Japan yen 105.950 109.56 +3.41 Sing dlr 1.381 1.3627 -1.33 Taiwan dlr 31.363 30.733 -2.01 Korean won 1210.200 1115.70 -7.81 Baht 30.720 32.55 +5.96 Peso 51.950 52.47 +1.00 Rupiah 14200.000 14375 +1.23 Rupee 70.515 69.77 -1.06 Ringgit 4.186 4.1300 -1.33 Yuan 7.050 6.8730 -2.52 (Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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