Asian units slip as dollar holds firm; S.Korean won loses most

* Dollar gains as Fed minutes dent hopes of aggressive cuts
* S.Korean won, Philippine peso and Indian rupee top losers
* Indonesian rupiah flat ahead of central bank meeting

(Adds text, updates prices)
By Rashmi Ashok
Aug 22 (Reuters) - Emerging Asian currencies fell on
Thursday against a firm dollar, after minutes from the U.S.
Federal Reserve's last meeting tempered market expectations of
aggressive rate cuts.
Policymakers were deeply divided on whether to cut interest
rates last month but wanted to signal that they were not on a
preset path to more cuts, minutes from the July meeting released
on Wednesday showed.
Investors now wait to see how dovish Fed Chair Jerome Powell
chooses to be in his Jackson Hole speech on Friday.
Following the release of Fed minutes, the greenback rose
overnight and held on to its gains on Thursday. The dollar index
stood slightly higher at 98.315 by 0506 GMT.
The Korean won was the biggest loser, shedding
0.4%, while the Philippine peso gave up 0.3%. The Chinese
yuan, the bellwether currency for the region, ticked
0.1% lower.
The won's sharp drop comes after it gained 0.7% over the
last two sessions amid signs of easing in Japan's curbs on
exports from South Korea.
Meanwhile, the Indonesian rupiah barely moved ahead
of a central bank meeting later in the day where policymakers
are largely expected to keep the key interest rate on hold.

The Indian rupee was among worst performers,
shedding 0.2%, after minutes from the central bank's monetary
policy meeting revived expectations for further easing.
The minutes released late on Wednesday showed the monetary
policy committee's highest priority was fixing the country's
weak growth, with benign inflation outlook giving the central
bank room to cut rates.
"Given the current and evolving inflation and growth
scenario at this juncture, it can no longer be a business as
usual approach. The economy needs a larger push," Governor
Shaktikanta Das said in the minutes.
DBS Group Research said in a note to clients that markets
would, however, be split on the scale of any forthcoming cuts,
after the unconventional 35 basis point cut in August.
Since February, the Reserve Bank of India has cut the repo
rate by a total of 110 basis points.

The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar at 0507 GMT.

Change on the day at 0507 GMT
Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move
Japan yen 106.430 106.61 +0.17
Sing dlr 1.386 1.3840 -0.12
Taiwan dlr 31.367 31.366 -0.00
Korean won 1206.700 1202.5 -0.35
Baht 30.780 30.76 -0.06
Peso 52.330 52.18 -0.29
Rupiah 14240.000 14235 -0.04
Rupee 71.680 71.56 -0.17
Ringgit 4.180 4.175 -0.12
Yuan 7.074 7.0633 -0.14

Change so far in 2019
Currency Latest bid End 2018 Pct Move
Japan yen 106.430 109.56 +2.94
Sing dlr 1.386 1.3627 -1.66
Taiwan dlr 31.367 30.733 -2.02
Korean won 1206.700 1115.70 -7.54
Baht 30.780 32.55 +5.75
Peso 52.330 52.47 +0.27
Rupiah 14240.000 14375 +0.95
Rupee 71.680 69.77 -2.66
Ringgit 4.180 4.1300 -1.20
Yuan 7.074 6.8730 -2.83

(Reporting by Rashmi Ashok in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu

First Published: 2019-08-22 04:00:14
Updated 2019-08-22 07:56:41

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