(Adds details, updates prices) By Rushil Dutta April 13 (Reuters) - Asian currencies rose on Thursday as the U.S. dollar and Treasury yields retreated after President Donald Trump said the greenback was "getting too strong". The dollar index against major currencies fell 0.7 percent after Trump told the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday that the dollar was too strong and that he'd prefer the Federal Reserve keep interest rates low. Against the yen, the dollar fell to five-month low. Asian currencies were also helped by benchmark Treasury yields sinking to near five-month lows. "I do like a low-interest rate policy," Trump told the Wall Street Journal. The yuan posted its biggest gain in over two weeks, climbing 0.24 percent, after China's central bank set a much higher fix against the dollar. Regional currencies also drew strength from strong trade data from China. China's March exports rose 16.4 percent from a year earlier, while imports increased 20.3 percent, both exceeding market expectations. The won posted its second day of gains, despite tensions over North Korea, while the Taiwan dollar rose for the third session in a row. The latter rose to its highest in two weeks and recorded its biggest intra-day gain since early January. The Singapore dollar firmed marginally but lacked momentum. The Monetary Authority of Singapore, the island-state's central bank, held policy steady on Thursday as expected, but its comments dismayed markets expecting a less dovish tone. "Market players evidently read the line in the MAS’s statement 'a neutral policy stance is appropriate for an extended period…' as dovish and the SGD spiked lower," ING said in a note earlier in the session. Markets in Philippines and Thailand were closed for national holidays. INDIAN RUPEE The Reserve Bank of India is seen turning more hawkish to keep price pressures in check after data showed inflation accelerated to its highest in five months in March. The central bank held its main policy rate steady last week but raised a secondary rate to help mop up liquidity and signal its worries about a potential spike in inflation. The rupee recovered the previous day's losses to rise 0.6 percent against the dollar to 64.285. "Given our view of a growth recovery along with a pick-up in inflation in H2 2017, we expect the RBI to stay on hold throughout 2017, with risks skewed towards a hike in early 2018," Nomura said in a note. SOUTH KOREAN WON The won gained for a second session, adding 1.3 percent against the dollar at 1126.300. The Bank of Korea's monetary policy committee held its base rate steady at 1.25 percent, in line with a Reuters forecast. A majority of analysts see the central bank on hold for the rest of the year and some see tightening beginning next year. The central bank also raised its GDP growth forecast for this year to 2.6 percent from 2.5 percent previously announced. Inflation this year is now seen at 1.9 percent, versus 1.8 percent announced in January. CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR Change on the day at 0521 GMT Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move Japan yen 108.920 109 +0.07 Sing dlr 1.394 1.3948 +0.08 Taiwan dlr 30.284 30.556 +0.90 Korean won 1126.300 1141.4 +1.34 Rupiah 13255.000 13274 +0.14 Rupee 64.285 64.68 +0.61 Ringgit 4.422 4.425 +0.08 Yuan 6.878 6.8930 +0.22 Change so far Currency Latest bid End 2016 Pct Move Japan yen 108.920 117.07 +7.48 Sing dlr 1.394 1.4490 +3.97 Taiwan dlr 30.284 32.279 +6.59 Korean won 1126.300 1207.70 +7.23 Rupiah 13255.000 13470 +1.62 Rupee 64.285 67.92 +5.65 Ringgit 4.422 4.4845 +1.42 Yuan 6.878 6.9467 +1.00 (Reporting by Rushil Dutta in Bengaluru)
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