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EM ASIA FX-Most Asian currencies drift, won at 2-1/2-year high

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Chris Thomas
    Nov 29 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies moved sideways on
Wednesday, as the market focused on progress in President Donald
Trump's tax cut plan while the South Korean won touched
multi-year highs, unfazed by yet another show of aggression from
the North.
    U.S. Senate Republicans pushed the president's tax-cut bill
through in an abrupt, partisan committee vote that set up a full
vote by the Senate as soon as Thursday.
    The greenback gained further traction against the yen after
data showed a robust labour market propelled U.S consumer
confidence to a near 17-year high in November.
    The dollar index, however, which measures the
greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was slightly
lower at 0425 GMT.
    Meanwhile, North Korea conducted its first missile test
since September with a new type of intercontinental ballistic
missile (ICBM) that it said could reach all of the U.S.
    "The impact (of the missile test) on markets has been so far
limited as positive politics news buoyed market sentiment,"
Mizuho Bank said in a note.
    The dollar also drew heart from Jerome Powell, President
Donald Trump's choice to lead the U.S. Federal Reserve,
defending plans to potentially lighten regulation of the
financial sector during a controversy-free confirmation hearing.

    In Asia, the South Korean won gained as much as
0.3 percent to push past a two-and-a-half year high, riding on
expectations that the Bank of Korea (BOOK) will raise interest
rates at its meeting on Thursday.
    The Indian rupee, Philippine peso and the
Indonesian rupiah traded marginally lower.
    The won was on track for a second straight session of gains,
and has firmed more than 11.6 percent this year.
    "The move has ... to do with the grand exit of long USD
geopolitical risk hedges ahead of Thursday's BOK interest rate
decision," said Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia at
Oanda, in a note.
    Eighteen of 21 economists polled by Reuters said they see
the BOK raising its policy rate by 25 basis points
on Thursday, while the three others saw rates on hold at the
current record-low 1.25 percent.
    South Korea has been riding an unexpectedly robust export
cycle on strong global demand for memory chips, which helped the
economy to post its fastest expansion in seven years last
    China's yuan inched up against the U.S. dollar,
despite a weaker midpoint fixing, after dollar selling by
companies emerged to support the Chinese currency.  
    The People's Bank of China set the midpoint rate
at 6.6011 per dollar, 0.1 percent weaker than the previous fix
of 6.5944. The yuan opened at 6.6049 per dollar and was changing
hands at 6.5993 at midday.
 CURRENCIES VS U.S.                                     
 Change on the day at 0535 GMT                          
 Currency                     Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
 Japan yen                    111.51      111.47        -0.04
 Sing dlr                     1.3459      1.3459        +0.00
 Taiwan dlr                   29.991      30.001        +0.03
 Korean won                   1082        1084.4        +0.25
 Baht                         32.550      32.56         +0.03
 Peso                         50.370      50.35         -0.04
 Rupiah                       13511       13505         -0.04
 Rupee                        64.41       64.41         -0.00
 Ringgit                      4.105       4.101         -0.09
 Yuan                         6.600       6.6054        +0.08
 Change so far in 2017                                  
 Currency                     Latest bid  End 2016      Pct Move
 Japan yen                    111.51      117.07        +4.99
 Sing dlr                     1.3459      1.4490        +7.66
 Taiwan dlr                   29.991      32.279        +7.63
 Korean won                   1082        1207.70       +11.65
 Baht                         32.550      35.80         +9.98
 Peso                         50.370      49.72         -1.29
 Rupiah                       13511       13470         -0.30
 Rupee                        64.413      67.92         +5.45
 Ringgit                      4.105       4.4845        +9.26
 Yuan                         6.600       6.9467        +5.25
 (Additional reporting by Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru; Editing
by Jacqueline Wong)