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EM ASIA FX-Most Asian currencies down after Trump's latest salvo on tariffs

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Devika Syamnath
    Aug 2 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies weakened against the
dollar on Thursday as U.S. President Donald Trump raised the
stakes in the trade dispute with Beijing with a threat to slap
even higher tariffs on Chinese imports. 
    Trump's administration on Wednesday said the president is
seeking to pressurize China by proposing a 25 percent tariff on
$200 billion worth of Chinese imports, up from an earlier 10
percent quote.
     China's yuan remained under pressure even after
the country's central bank set a stronger daily midpoint
, at 6.7942 per dollar versus the previous day's
6.8293. 
    On Wednesday, China's central bank pledged to fine tune
monetary policy to guarantee liquidity amid trade tensions.
 
    OCBC analysts said in a note to clients that the latest 
trade salvo from Washington and China's warning of
"counter-measures," will likely continue to weigh on risk
appetite in the short term.
    The dollar index, a measure of its value against a
basket of six major currencies, added 0.1 percent at 94.757
ahead of jobs data for the world's biggest economy, due on
Friday. 
    Investors are also awaiting Bank of England policy review
later on Thursday. However, with a hike mostly priced in, the
focus is on the policy statement for any hint of further
tightening of borrowing costs.
    The Japanese yen, traditionally considered a safe
haven currency, advanced 0.2 percent against the dollar. 
    Bank of Japan's Deputy Governor said the central bank will
purchase government bonds "promptly and appropriately" if yields
rise rapidly, after investors teased the limits of the central
bank's new intent to allow debt markets to move more freely and
sent bond yields to a 1-1/2 year high on Wednesday.
    Elsewhere, the Singapore's dollar lost ground for a
third straight session, down 0.2 percent to its weakest level in
over one week while the Thai baht inched 0.3 percent
lower.
    Malaysia's ringgit and Indonesia's rupiah also
weakened 0.2 percent, each.
    
    Indian Rupee
    India's rupee strengthened slightly after the
Reserve Bank of India on Wednesday raised rates for the second
consecutive meeting as expected.
    Yet, the rupee remains the worst performing Asian currency
this year, having declined about 6.6 percent to date.
    Indian policymakers are pursuing a delicate balance as they
try to tamp down on inflation without derailing growth. 
    Rising global crude oil prices are adding to imported
inflation pressures. Moreover, recent erratic Indian monsoons
muddy the outlook for winter-harvested crops in a largely
agriculture-reliant economy - further adding to inflationary
pressures. 

    The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar at 0506 GMT.
    
    CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
    
 Currency                     Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
 Japan yen                    111.580     111.71        +0.12
 Sing dlr                     1.365       1.3615        -0.23
 Taiwan dlr                   30.635      30.616        -0.06
 Korean won                   1124.800    1120.6        -0.37
 Baht                         33.220      33.12         -0.30
 Peso                         52.964      52.98         +0.03
 Rupiah                       14463.000   14435         -0.19
 Rupee                        68.400      68.43         +0.04
 Ringgit                      4.070       4.064         -0.15
 Yuan                         6.818       6.8150        -0.05
                                                        
 Change so far in 2018                                  
 Currency                     Latest bid  End 2017      Pct Move
 Japan yen                    111.580     112.67        +0.98
 Sing dlr                     1.365       1.3373        -2.00
 Taiwan dlr                   30.635      29.848        -2.57
 Korean won                   1124.800    1070.50       -4.83
 Baht                         33.220      32.58         -1.93
 Peso                         52.964      49.977        -5.64
 Rupiah                       14463.000   13565         -6.21
 Rupee                        68.400      63.87         -6.62
 Ringgit                      4.070       4.0440        -0.64
 Yuan                         6.818       6.5069        -4.57
 

 (Reporting by Devika Syamnath in Bengaluru
Editing by Shri Navaratnam)
  
 
 
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