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Asia, Forex

S.Korean won leads gains by Asian currencies vs defensive dollar

* Asia FX up vs dollar ahead of Fed minutes, Jackson Hole meet * S.Korean won rises on possible easing in Japan export curbs (Adds text, updates prices) By Devika Syamnath Aug 21 (Reuters) – The won rose sharply on Wednesday on signs of easing in Japan’s curbs on exports to South Korea, while other Asian currencies strengthened against a defensive dollar ahead of a symposium of global central bankers. Comments from U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Friday at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, will be in focus as markets look for hints on further policy easing from the head of the pivotal central bank. Also watched by investors will be minutes from the Fed’s July meeting, at which it cut U.S. rates by 25 basis points, which are due later on Wednesday. The dollar slipped from a three-week peak because of a reversal in U.S. yields, as they headed south again. The Taiwan dollar and Malaysian ringgit were 0.2% higher, while India’s rupee climbed 0.3%. The yuan inched up 0.1%. China’s central bank fixed the currency’s mid-point “at a market-friendly 7.0433 vs the previous close of 7.0610 so the bias has been to sell USD this morning,” Stephen Innes, managing partner of VM Markets, said in a note. The recent weakening of China’s currency has become an issue in the prolonged trade war between Beijing and Washington. In his latest comments on the dispute, U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday a confrontation with China was necessary even if it caused short-term harm to the U.S. economy. Innes said “it’s beginning to feel more like your typical August as the markets don’t seem to have much of an axe to grind one way or the other today other than pre-risk event positioning squaring”. Korea’s won gained the most among peers, up as much as 0.8% at one point in the session, on signs of easing in the country’s trade dispute with Japan stemming from tensions from their wartime past. Japan on Tuesday approved shipments of a high-tech material to South Korea for the second time since imposing export curbs last month, two sources said. The won has been the worst performing Asian currency against the dollar this year. The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against the dollar at 0456 GMT. CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move Japan yen 106.460 106.22 -0.23 Sing dlr 1.384 1.3847 +0.05 Taiwan dlr 31.353 31.405 +0.17 Korean won 1202.000 1208.3 +0.52 Baht 30.760 30.78 +0.07 Peso 52.270 52.31 +0.08 Rupiah 14240.000 14255 +0.11 Rupee 71.520 71.70 +0.26 Ringgit 4.171 4.181 +0.24 Yuan 7.054 7.0610 +0.10 Change so far in 2019 Currency Latest bid End 2018 Pct Move Japan yen 106.460 109.56 +2.91 Sing dlr 1.384 1.3627 -1.54 Taiwan dlr 31.353 30.733 -1.98 Korean won 1202.000 1115.70 -7.18 Baht 30.760 32.55 +5.82 Peso 52.270 52.47 +0.38 Rupiah 14240.000 14375 +0.95 Rupee 71.520 69.77 -2.45 Ringgit 4.171 4.1300 -0.98 Yuan 7.054 6.8730 -2.56 (Reporting by Devika Syamnath in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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