(Adds text, updates prices) By Patturaja Murugaboopathy Aug 21 (Reuters) - Asian currencies made little headway on Monday as investors were reluctant to stake out new positions ahead of U.S. Federal Reserve's annual central banking symposium in Jackson Hole later in the week. While both Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi are not expected to be deliver any fresh policy messages in the conference, investors were wary that any hawkish signal would affect regional currencies. "The expectations are not very strong in terms of a policy hint. But it doesn't stop markets on speculating something of a surprise," said Andy Ji, currency strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia. Investors were also wary of any flare-up of tensions between North Korea and United States as U.S. troops and South Korean forces started a joint exercise on Monday. The South Korean won was the biggest gainer among the regional currencies, rising nearly quarter of a percent on the day, while the Indian rupee gained about 0.1 percent. China's yuan turned softer even amid firmer guidance from the central bank as corporate dollar purchases remained strong. The dollar index which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, added 0.1 percent to 93.500. While concerns about U.S. President Donald Trump's ability to push through his economic agenda is expected to continue to weigh on the dollar, some analysts said the regional currencies are not going to gain much out the dollar weakness. "Despite the dollar being pretty soft, we expect Asian currencies to be weaker in the short term," said Commonwealth Bank of Australia's Ji. The reasons are ongoing tensions in North Korea, concerns of a cyclical slowdown in the economies across the region especially in China and uncertainty over balance-sheet unwinding by the major central banks, he added. "The regional currencies are going to be pretty nervous in the next few months." INDONESIAN RUPIAH The Indonesian rupiah was up 0.04 percent. Indonesia's central bank is expected to keep its benchmark interest rate unchanged on Tuesday despite sluggish private consumption that is denting economic growth, a Reuters poll showed. "The fiscal deficit for this year is revised up to 2.9 percent and increased subsidies will be helpful in boosting consumption," said Chang Wei Liang, FX strategist at Mizuho Bank. "There is unlikely to be a need for monetary policy to be compensating for low inflation at this juncture." THAI BAHT The baht was up slightly up after strong GDP data on Monday. Thailand's economy grew faster than expected in the second quarter from the first, thanks to stronger exports and tourism. Having risen nearly 8 percent against the dollar this year, the baht is the top performer in the region. The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against the dollar at 0549 GMT. CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR Change on the day at 0549 GMT Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move Japan yen 109.220 109.17 -0.05 Sing dlr 1.363 1.3628 +0.01 Taiwan dlr 30.319 30.332 +0.04 Korean won 1138.300 1141.3 +0.26 Baht 33.199 33.21 +0.03 Peso* 51.470 51.355 -0.22 Rupiah 13354.000 13361 +0.05 Rupee 64.050 64.14 +0.14 Ringgit 4.286 4.288 +0.05 Yuan 6.673 6.6679 -0.07 *Closed for market holiday Change so far in 2017 Currency Latest bid End 2016 Pct Move Japan yen 109.220 117.07 +7.19 Sing dlr 1.363 1.4490 +6.33 Taiwan dlr 30.319 32.279 +6.46 Korean won 1138.300 1207.70 +6.10 Baht 33.199 35.80 +7.83 Peso 51.470 49.72 -3.40 Rupiah 13354.000 13470 +0.87 Rupee 64.050 67.92 +6.04 Ringgit 4.286 4.4845 +4.63 Yuan 6.673 6.9467 +4.11 (Reporting by Patturaja Murugaboopathy in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim Coghill)
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