EM ASIA FX- Asian currencies rise as Trump's comments dent dollar

 (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
    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
    The Singapore dollar firmed marginally but lacked
    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
    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.
    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
    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.    
 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)