Asian currencies slip on higher oil prices

* Philippine peso top decliner in the region
* Indian rupee at over 1-month low
* Thai March exports fall 4.88 pct y/y

(Adds text, updates prices)
By Shriya Ramakrishnan
April 22 (Reuters) - Emerging Asian currencies faltered on
Monday after a rally in oil prices dented sentiment for the
region's net importers, with the Philippine peso weakening to
its lowest level in nearly two weeks.
Oil prices jumped to their highest since late 2018 on news
the United States is likely to ask all importers of Iranian oil
to end their purchases or face U.S. sanctions. A source
confirmed to Reuters a report by the Washington Post that the
administration will terminate the sanctions waivers it granted
to some importers of Iranian oil late last
year.
In November, the U.S. reimposed sanctions on exports of
Iranian oil after President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled out
of a 2015 nuclear accord between Iran and six world powers.
China, India, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan were among the
eight main buyers of Iranian oil that were granted waivers to
the sanctions that allowed them limited purchases for six
months.
The Indian rupee weakened 0.5 percent to 69.73
against dollar, touching its weakest point since March 11, while
the Philippine peso traded 0.7 percent lower.
The Thai baht eased 0.2 percent, after data showed
the country's customs-cleared exports fell 4.88 percent in
March, after unexpectedly increasing in February, due to falling
shipments of electronics - a key driver of Thai
growth.
Thailand's central bank governor said that economic growth
for the year should be on track if the next government can be
formed by June.
The outcome of Thailand's first elections since a 2014 coup
remains uncertain, and might not be known until after official
results are due on May 9.
The Taiwan dollar was largely flat, ahead of export
orders data for March.
A Reuters poll showed that Taiwan's export orders likely
declined for a fifth month in March, as a prolonged downturn in
global tech demand has hurt manufacturers in the trade-reliant
economy.


S. KOREAN WON PRESSURED

Dismal trade data and fears of tension in the Korean
peninsula weighed on the won on Monday, pulling it
down 0.5 percent to 1,142.70 against the dollar.
Trade data released earlier in the session showed the
country's exports for the first 20 days of April shrank 8.7
percent from a year earlier.
"The South Korean won could see more selling on increased
geopolitical risks, as North Korea rejects further negotiations
with U.S. Secretary of State (Mike) Pompeo, and even conducted a
new tactical guided weapon test," Mizuho Bank said in a note.
Pompeo said on Friday that diplomatic efforts will continue
toward the goal of denuclearization of North Korea, a day after
a North Korean official said it no longer wanted to deal with
him in talks.




The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar at 0526 GMT.
CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move
Japan yen 111.930 111.91 -0.02
Sing dlr 1.356 1.3549 -0.11
Taiwan dlr 30.851 30.842 -0.03
Korean won 1142.700 1136.9 -0.51
Baht 31.880 31.82 -0.19
Peso 52.040 51.67 -0.71
Rupiah 14085.000 14040 -0.32
Rupee 69.730 69.36 -0.54
Ringgit 4.135 4.13 -0.12
Yuan 6.713 6.7049 -0.12

Change so far in 2019
Currency Latest bid End 2018 Pct Move
Japan yen 111.930 109.56 -2.12
Sing dlr 1.356 1.3627 +0.46
Taiwan dlr 30.851 30.733 -0.38
Korean won 1142.700 1115.70 -2.36
Baht 31.880 32.55 +2.10
Peso 52.040 52.47 +0.83
Rupiah 14085.000 14375 +2.06
Rupee 69.730 69.77 +0.06
Ringgit 4.135 4.1300 -0.12
Yuan 6.713 6.8730 +2.39


(Reporting by Shriya Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru
Editing by Shri Navaratnam)



First Published: 2019-04-22 03:48:27
Updated 2019-04-22 07:52:35


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