EM ASIA FX-Won, Sing dollar rises to 9-mth high vs yen

Fri Apr 1, 2011 4:43am EDT

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 (Updates with text, prices)	
 By Jongwoo Cheon	
 SINGAPORE, April 1 (Reuters) - The South Korean won and the
Singapore dollar hit 9-month highs against the yen on Friday,
benefiting from investors' hunger for higher yields from
emerging Asian currencies, which have also been lifted by
inflows into regional equities.	
 The won hit a 2-1/2-year high against the dollar for a
second day on continuous inflows to the country's stock market,
leading overall gains among Asian currencies versus the
 Deutsche Bank said this week's equity inflows to Asia were
the strongest in four months and added there was likely to be
significant scope for further inflows into regional equities,
which could push Asian currencies through resistance levels.	
 Emerging Asian currencies were also expected to be
supported, especially against the yen, by continued policy
tightening by central banks in the region as they battle to
contain inflation.	
 Stronger U.S. job data later in the day may trigger a
corrective move lower in regional currencies on Monday, but that
will not change the longer-term bullish trend, analysts said.	
 "JPY has quickly shifted back into being the funding vehicle
for long carry trade positions. It's difficult to see what will
turn this around," said Jonathan Cavenagh, currency strategist
at Westpac in Singapore.	
 The Japanese currency slid to a 10-month low against the
euro and fell below its 200-day moving average versus the
 The won strengthened to as firm as 13.0420 per
yen, the strongest since June last year, and the Singapore
dollar also gained to as strong as 1.0540 versus the
yen, the strongest since the same month.	
 Several banks have also issued recommendations to take
advantage of regional differences in monetary policy direction.	
 Westpac recommended selling Taiwan dollars and buying the
won as higher inflation in South Korea may spur the central bank
to tighten more than Taiwan's central bank.	
 "All else being equal there will be greater impetus for
tighter policy in South Korea relative to Taiwan and we note
that going short TWD/KRW in the 3 month NDF already generates
positive carry to the tune of 4-5 percent," it said in a note. 	
 The won  strengthened to as firm as 1,091.0
per dollar, the strongest since Sept. 11, 2008, as foreign
investors continued to scoop up Seoul shares and on a lack of
clear signs of intervention by foreign exchange authorities.	
 Exporters also chased the South Korean currency.	
 Foreign investors extended their streak of stock buying to a
13 consecutive session, the longest since October 2010.	
 They purchased a net 733.2 billion won ($671.4 million), the
largest daily purchase since Nov. 12, 2010.	
 The rupiah  touched a fresh four-year high
against the dollar on portfolio inflows to Indonesia.	
 The Indonesian currency strengthened to as firm as 8,692 per
dollar, the strongest since May 2007, though dealers said the
central bank was spotted buying dollars to check the local
currency's strength.	
 "BI prefers to let IDR strengthen further if the CPI is
high... But as March CPI is low, so BI will keep the IDR above
8,700," a Jakarta-based dealer said.	
 Indonesia's annual inflation slowed to 6.65 percent in
March, below analysts' expectations but still above the central
bank's end 2011 target range of 4 to 6 percent. [ID:nL3E7F10K0]	
 That reduced pressure on the central bank to raise interest
rates at a review this month, pushing down short-dated the
country's local currency bonds to nearly their lowest levels so
far this year. [ID:nL3E7F10RP]	
 The peso underperformed its Asian peers on dollar-short
coverings after the Philippines central bank's comments that it
would not use the currency to curb rising prises. 	
 The central bank's deputy governor said late on Thursday
that the central bank will keep a market-determined exchange
rate and will not drive the peso higher against the dollar to
help tame inflation. [ID:nSGE72U03I]	
 The comment comes as revived appetite for Asian stocks have
put upward pressure on emerging Asian currencies including the
peso and the central bank have been spotted buying dollars to
defend 43.30.	
  CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR                                  	
  Change on the day at 0715 GMT	
 Currency    Latest bid   Previous day    Pct Move
  Japan yen        83.60          83.13       -0.56
  Sing dlr        1.2613         1.2604       -0.07
  Taiwan dlr      29.275         29.418       +0.49
  Korean won     1091.70        1096.70       +0.46
  Baht             30.25          30.25       +0.00
  Peso             43.37          43.39       +0.05
  Rupiah         8695.00        8705.00       +0.12
  Rupee            44.59          44.59       +0.00
  Ringgit         3.0250         3.0270       +0.07
  Yuan            6.5473         6.5485       +0.02
  Change so far in 2011                                                                           
  Currency    Latest bid  End prev year    Pct Move
  Japan yen        83.60          81.15       -2.93
  Sing dlr        1.2613         1.2820       +1.64
  Taiwan dlr      29.275         30.368       +3.73
  Korean won     1091.70        1134.80       +3.95
  Baht             30.25          30.14       -0.36
  Peso             43.37          43.84       +1.08
  Rupiah         8695.00        9005.00       +3.57
  Rupee            44.59          44.70       +0.25
  Ringgit         3.0250         3.0820       +1.88
  Yuan            6.5473         6.5897       +0.65
(Additional reporting by Clare Jim in TAIPEI and Catherine Tan
of IFR Markets; Editing by Kim Coghill)	
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