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EM ASIA FX-Most Asian currencies gain as Trump woes hit dollar; Fed meet in focus

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Christina Martin
    July 24 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies edged higher on
Monday, supported by the dollar's struggles near a 13-month low
against a basket of major rivals as continuing disarray at the
White House dampened hopes for quick passage of President Donald
Trump's stimulus and tax reform agendas.
    The Trump administration took a fresh hit on Friday after
White House spokesman Sean Spicer resigned, highlighting an
upheaval within the president's inner circle.
    The dollar index against a group of six key currencies was
little changed at 93.854, after touching 93.847, its
lowest since June 2016.
    The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note yield
slumped to three-week low on Friday with a retreat in Wall
Street shares spurring safe-haven demand for debt.
    "There is a general dollar weakness stemming from rise in
U.S. risk from politics and Trump," said Sean Yokota, head of
Asia strategy at Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB). 
    "However, it (the dollar weakness) probably won't last that
long since we have the Fed meeting this week and people square
their short dollar positions ahead of the event risk." 
    Markets are awaiting the U.S. Federal Reserve's meeting on
Tuesday and Wednesday for an update on its plan to start
normalising its balance sheet.
    In Asia, the Taiwan dollar inched up as much as 0.2
percent while the Indian rupee and the Philippine peso
 slipped. 
    The Korean won held steady after breaking into
1,120/dollar level last week.
    
    CHINESE YUAN
    China's yuan firmed against the U.S. dollar on
Monday, buoyed by a stronger central bank guidance, snapping
three straight days of declines.
    Prior to market opening, the People's Bank of China set the
yuan midpoint CNY=PBOC at 6.7410 per dollar, the highest since
Oct. 20 2016, reflecting the dollar's broad weakness.

    Offshore one-year non-deliverable forwards contracts (NDFs)
, considered the best available proxy for
forward-looking market expectations of the yuan's value, traded
at 6.8945, 2.23 percent weaker than the midpoint.
    
    THAI BAHT
    The Thai baht rose marginally on Monday, headed for
a second straight session of gains.
    "The dollar-baht pair is tracking lower after the Bank of
Thailand played down concerns about a strong THB on export
competitiveness," said Philip Sung Seng Wee,  senior currency
economist at DBS Bank Ltd.
    Thailand's trade competitiveness has not been much affected
by a strong baht and exports can still increase as
forecast this year, a central bank official said on Friday, as
the baht hit a 26-month high against the U.S dollar.

    The baht has risen 7 percent against the greenback so far
this year, the most in Southeast Asia.
    
     The following table shows rates for Asian currencies
against the dollar at 0537 GMT.
    CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
  Currency               Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
  Japan yen              111.080            111.1     +0.02
  Sing dlr               1.362             1.3621     +0.01
  Taiwan dlr             30.409            30.451     +0.14
  Korean won             1115.100          1118.2     +0.28
  Baht                   33.429             33.44     +0.03
  Peso                   50.745             50.71     -0.07
  Rupiah                 13315.000          13312     -0.02
  Rupee                  64.445             64.32     -0.20
  Ringgit                4.282              4.282     +0.01
  Yuan                   6.760             6.7661     +0.09
                                                           
  Change so far in 2017                                    
  Currency               Latest bid   End 2016     Pct Move
  Japan yen              111.080           117.07     +5.39
  Sing dlr               1.362             1.4490     +6.39
  Taiwan dlr             30.409            32.279     +6.15
  Korean won             1115.100         1207.70     +8.30
  Baht                   33.429             35.80     +7.09
  Peso                   50.745             49.72     -2.02
  Rupiah                 13315.000          13470     +1.16
  Rupee                  64.445             67.92     +5.39
  Ringgit                4.282             4.4845     +4.74
  Yuan                   6.760             6.9467     +2.76
 
    

    

 (Reporting By Christina Martin in Bengaluru; Editing by Shri
Navaratnam)
  
 
 
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