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EM ASIA FX-Won, Taiwan dollar climb as Fed statement offers no surprises

* Taiwan dollar hits highest level since July 2015
    * S.Korean won rises 1 pct, hits highest since November
    * Thai baht touches highest since Nov.10

 (Sure(Adds text, updates prices))
    SINGAPORE, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Emerging Asian currencies
advanced against the dollar on Thursday after the U.S. Federal
Reserve stuck to its mildly upbeat economic view but gave no
hint on rate hikes. 
    The Taiwan dollar rose to its highest level since
July 2015 at 31.10 per U.S. dollar at one point, as onshore
trade resumed after a holiday break, taking a cue from the
greenback's drop over the Lunar New Year holidays. 
    The South Korean won rose 1 percent and touched a
high of 1,146.1 per U.S. dollar, the won's strongest level since
November. 
    After the won's rise, a South Korean government official in
charge of foreign exchange markets said authorities were closely
monitoring currency markets and warning traders against pushing
the won too high. 
    The Taiwan dollar and South Korean won have been benefiting
from positive economic fundamentals such as a recent pick-up in
Taiwanese and South Korean exports, said Masashi Murata,
currency strategist for Brown Brothers Harriman in Tokyo.
  
    In the case of the won, the outlook for South Korea's
monetary policy also looks supportive, after data on Thursday
showed an acceleration in inflation, Murata said.
    "It doesn't seem like South Korea's central bank will be
cutting interest rates," he said. 
    South Korean consumer prices rose at their fastest pace in
more than four years in January, meeting the central bank's
inflation target for the first time since it was lowered last
year and tempering calls for another cut in interest rates.
 
    Amid signs of an improvement in the global economy, the
currencies of export-oriented countries such as South Korea and
Taiwan could outperform against the currencies of
domestic-demand driven economies such as the Philippines,
Indonesia and India in the near term, Murata added.
    Elsewhere, the Thai baht rose to as high as 35.06,
its highest level since Nov. 10. The baht has been supported
recently by inflows into Thai bonds and dollar-selling by local
exporters.
    The gains in Asian currencies came after the U.S. Federal
Reserve held interest rates steady on Wednesday in its first
meeting since President Donald Trump took office. 
    While painting a relatively upbeat picture of the U.S.
economy, its statement gave no firm signal on the timing of its
next rate move as Fed policymakers are still awaiting clarity on
the possible impact of Trump's economic policies.
    "The FOMC statement was a non-event, as most investors had
anticipated. Perhaps the only new information was the lack of a
hawkish signal that would increase the probability of a March
rate hike," Citi analysts said in a research note.

    CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
  Change on the day at   0415 GMT                     
  Currency               Latest bid   Previous     Pct
                                           day    Move
  Japan yen                  112.77     113.27   +0.44
  Sing dlr                   1.4114     1.4128   +0.10
  Taiwan dlr*                31.100     31.360   +0.84
  Korean won                1146.80    1158.10   +0.99
  Baht                        35.08      35.12   +0.09
  Peso                       49.770     49.820   +0.10
  Rupiah                      13365      13370   +0.04
  Rupee                       67.41      67.47   +0.09
  Ringgit                    4.4360     4.4280   -0.18
  Yuan*                      6.8807     6.8807   +0.00
                                                      
  Change so far                                       
 in 2017                                        
  Currency               Latest bid   End prev     Pct
                                          year    Move
  Japan yen                  112.77     117.07   +3.81
  Sing dlr                   1.4114     1.4490   +2.66
  Taiwan dlr                 31.100     32.279   +3.79
  Korean won                1146.80    1207.70   +5.31
  Baht                        35.08      35.80   +2.05
  Peso                        49.77      49.72   -0.10
  Rupiah                      13365      13470   +0.79
  Rupee                       67.41      67.92   +0.76
  Ringgit                    4.4360     4.4845   +1.09
  Yuan                       6.8807     6.9467   +0.96
 
* Onshore trading in the Taiwan dollar re-opened after being
closed from Jan. 27 to Feb. 1 for the Lunar New Year holiday.
 
* Chinese financial markets will be closed from Jan. 27 to Feb.
2 for the Lunar New Year holiday.    

 (Reporting by Masayuki Kitano in SINGAPORE; Additional
reporting by Satawasin Staporncharnchai in BANGKOK and Roger
Tung in TAIPEI)
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