Edition:
United States

Aby Jose Koilparambil

Australia's AGL Energy comes back for Vocus with $2.1 bln offer

Jun 11 2019

SYDNEY AGL Energy Ltd took a second tilt at telecoms firm Vocus Group Ltd on Tuesday with a fresh A$3.02 billion ($2.10 billion) offer - just weeks after withdrawing a previous approach - as it looks to cross-sell to its big customer base.

NZ shares inch up in thin trade; U.S.-Mexico deal lends support

Jun 09 2019

June 10 New Zealand shares made slight gains on Monday after the United States called off the imposition of tariffs on Mexico, following a deal to combat illegal migration from Central America, but a holiday in Australia kept trading volumes low.

EM ASIA FX-Most Asian currencies hit by Trump's Mexican move; rupiah rallies on S&P upgrade

May 31 2019

* Chinese yuan worst performing unit in May * Won weakens as much as 0.4% * Falling oil prices support rupee, rupiah (Adds text, updates prices) By Aby Jose Koilparambil May 31 Trade tensions bedevilled global markets again and hurt most of Asian's emerging currencies on Friday, with Washington's shock move to slap tariffs on Mexican goods taking some of the shine off gains for Indonesia's rupiah following a sovereign ratings upgrade. The fears of a global recession only heightened during the day as a survey showed China's factory activity contracted and export orders faltered as the Sino-U.S. trade dispute intensified. Opening a new front in the trade war, U.S. President Donald Trump said Washington will impose a 5% tariff on imports from Mexico from June 10, which would then rise steadily to 25% until illegal immigration across the southern border was stopped. Trump announced the decision on Twitter late Thursday, completely blindsiding markets. "Overall what we are seeing in the markets is familiar concerns over the U.S.-China trade tensions, which have taken a new dimension with the U.S. imposing tariffs on Mexico, while the China manufacturing data reinforces worries about the economy's health," said Sim Moh Siong, forex strategist at Bank of Singapore. The won led the declines in the region, weakening as much as 0.4% and is set to shed about 2% in May for its fourth consecutive monthly loss. The won, the worst regional performing currency this year, bore the brunt of the shock U.S. move on Mexico, a manufacturing hub for some of the South Korean auto majors including Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors. Earlier, South Korea's central bank kept interest rates unchanged for a fourth straight meeting, although pressure to ease monetary policy is growing as global trade friction drags on the export-reliant economy. The Chinese yuan shed up to 0.2% as the weak factory data added to a flurry of weak indicators from the world's No.2 economy which have stoked concerns about a global recession. The yuan is set to weaken for a third straight month, shedding about 2.6% in May, the steepest monthly decline among its peers. On the upside, Indonesia's rupiah gained over 1% after ratings agency S&P raised the country's sovereign credit rating to 'BBB', citing strong economic growth prospects and supportive policy dynamics. The rupiah was also supported by easing oil prices, which benefited other major importers of the commodity in the region such as India and Thailand. India's rupee and the Thai baht tacked on as much as 0.2% and 0.1%, respectively. Crude prices dropped on Friday and were on track for their biggest monthly fall since November as trade conflicts spread and U.S. crude output returned to record levels. The Philippine peso dropped 0.3% and is on track for a 1% loss in May. The Taiwan dollar was down slightly and is set for its steepest monthly fall of 2.2% this year as the tech export-reliant economy came in the firing line after the U.S. targeted Chinese technology firms in May. CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR Change on the day at 0651 GMT Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move Japan yen 108.910 109.6 +0.63 Sing dlr 1.379 1.3789 +0.00 Taiwan dlr 31.615 31.610 -0.02 Korean won 1190.900 1188.8 -0.18 Baht 31.740 31.79 +0.16 Peso 52.197 52.14 -0.11 Rupiah 14250.000 14395 +1.02 Rupee 69.790 69.87 +0.11 Ringgit 4.193 4.19 -0.07 Yuan 6.907 6.9013 -0.08 Change so far in 2019 Currency Latest bid End 2018 Pct Move Japan yen 108.910 109.56 +0.60 Sing dlr 1.379 1.3627 -1.17 Taiwan dlr 31.615 30.733 -2.79 Korean won 1190.900 1115.70 -6.31 Baht 31.740 32.55 +2.55 Peso 52.197 52.47 +0.52 Rupiah 14250.000 14375 +0.88 Rupee 69.790 69.77 -0.03 Ringgit 4.193 4.1300 -1.50 Yuan 6.907 6.8730 -0.49 (Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

EM ASIA FX-S. Korean won, Philippine peso up, but gains checked by trade unease

May 30 2019

* Suspected intervention helps won gain * Peso snaps 3-session losing run * Baht strengthens for 2nd straight day * * (Adds text, updates prices) By Aby Jose Koilparambil May 30 The South Korean won bounced back on Thursday on suspected intervention by foreign exchange authorities, though escalating Sino-U.S. trade tensions curbed investors' appetite for riskier currencies. On Thursday, a Chinese diplomat said that provoking trade disputes is "naked economic terrorism" in comments that stepped up criticism of Washington as the standoff between the two economic heavyweights showed no signs of a quick resolution. While U.S. President Donald Trump this week dampened any hopes of an imminent trade deal, China has hinted that it may use its dominant position as an exporter of rare earths to the United States as leverage in the tariff war. "The trade war continues to see an expansion in scope, with the talk of using rare earths as a weapon for the Chinese really picking up momentum over the past two sessions. This sets a negative backdrop for Asian currencies as a whole," said analysts at OCBC Bank in a research note. As sellers buffeted currencies in several countries including China, South Korea and Malaysia, some officials have issued warnings against disorderly currency market movements. Earlier this week, the Trump administration said nine trade partners required close attention over currency practices and the list included as many as six Asian countries - China, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam. The won rose as much as 0.5% after the country's foreign exchange authorities were suspected to have sold dollars to curb weakness in the currency, several dealers told Reuters. South Korea's central bank reviews policy on Friday and a Reuters poll predicted the Bank of Korea would keep the key rate unchanged despite pressure to ease due to slowing global demand for the country's exports. Another currency which outperformed its peers on the day was the Philippines peso, which added as much as 0.3%, and is set to snap a three-session losing streak. The Chinese yuan tacked on 0.1% but it remains on track for its worst month since July 2018, having shed about 2.5% to the dollar since a flare-up in tensions between Washington and Beijing earlier this month. The Thai baht, the best performing currency so far this year with a gain of about 2.5%, strengthened for a second day. The analysts at OCBC Bank expect some upside for the baht as Thailand could benefit from the recent rebalancing of the MSCI emerging markets index. The Indian rupee and the Singapore dollar gained slightly, while the Taiwan dollar and the Malaysian ringgit weakened a bit. The Indonesian markets were closed on Thursday for a holiday. CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR Change on the day at 0543 GMT Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move Japan yen 109.700 109.58 -0.11 Sing dlr 1.379 1.3807 +0.12 Taiwan dlr 31.603 31.581 -0.07 Korean won 1188.600 1193.9 +0.45 Baht 31.780 31.8 +0.06 Peso 52.150 52.29 +0.27 Rupee 69.785 69.83 +0.06 Ringgit 4.195 4.192 -0.07 Yuan 6.911 6.9130 +0.03 Change so far in 2019 Currency Latest bid End 2018 Pct Move Japan yen 109.700 109.56 -0.13 Sing dlr 1.379 1.3627 -1.18 Taiwan dlr 31.603 30.733 -2.75 Korean won 1188.600 1115.70 -6.13 Baht 31.780 32.55 +2.42 Peso 52.150 52.47 +0.61 Rupee 69.785 69.77 -0.02 Ringgit 4.195 4.1300 -1.55 Yuan 6.911 6.8730 -0.55 (Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

EM ASIA FX-Most currencies drag on poor risk appetite; S. Korean won falls most

May 29 2019

* Won weakens sharply to hit 1-week low * Philippine peso depreciates for 3rd straight day * Indonesian rupiah set to snap 4-session gaining streak * (Adds text, updates prices) By Aby Jose Koilparambil May 29 The South Korean won weakened sharply to hit a one-week low as the possibility of a prolonged Sino-U.S. trade war dampened the risk appetite, putting the regional emerging market currencies back under the pump. After U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday reinforced that the trade war with China was unlikely to be settled anytime soon, a media report said Beijing was "seriously considering" restricting rare earth exports to the United States. Investors are worried whether China would use its dominant position as a supplier of rare earths - chemical elements used in high-tech consumer electronics and military equipment - for leverage in its trade spat with the United States. The escalation in trade tensions, particularly the U.S. targeting Chinese technology firms, has already pushed tech export-oriented Asian economies such as South Korea and Taiwan into a corner. "Trade war is still ongoing at least until the next G20 meeting in Osaka (in June end). With war on trade spreading to technology, the currencies of the trade and tech-linked economies, including the won, yuan, Taiwan dollar and the Singapore dollar could remain on the back foot," said Christopher Wong, a Singapore-based senior forex strategist at Maybank. Besides the won, which slipped as much as 0.7%, the Indonesian rupiah and the Philippine peso, too, saw relatively steeper declines, losing up to 0.4% each. The rupiah is all set to snap an uninterrupted gaining run of four sessions, while the peso weakened for a third successive day. The Chinese yuan, whose stability is key for the regional emerging market currencies, depreciated for a second consecutive session, slipping up to 0.2%. Meanwhile, People's Bank of China reiterated its determination to keep the yuan stable and keeping the fixing on the strong side of 6.90 per dollar. The Trump administration said on Tuesday nine trade partners including China, South Korea and Malaysia, required scrutiny over currency practices. The Malaysian ringgit and the Indian rupee weakened as much as 0.2%, while the Singapore dollar and the Taiwan dollar depreciated slightly. WON'S WOES The won is the worst regional performer, having declined about 7% this year and more than 2% so far in May, en route to its fourth consecutive monthly decline. Won's weakness on Wednesday coincided with a more than 1% fall in the KOSPI stock index due to fund outflows after MSCI said it would increase the weight of China A shares in the emerging markets index. HSBC analysts said in a research note that the Bank of Korea is likely to keep its base rate unchanged at 1.75% at its policy meeting on Friday, and added that the central bank should maintain a cautious stance, given the increased uncertainty in U.S.-China trade tensions. CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR Change on the day at 0540 GMT Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move Japan yen 109.260 109.36 +0.09 Sing dlr 1.381 1.3794 -0.12 Taiwan dlr 31.514 31.484 -0.10 Korean won 1193.500 1185.8 -0.65 Baht 31.840 31.8 -0.13 Peso 52.360 52.23 -0.25 Rupiah 14425.000 14370 -0.38 Rupee 69.790 69.69 -0.14 Ringgit 4.194 4.187 -0.17 Yuan 6.913 6.9080 -0.07 Change so far in 2019 Currency Latest bid End 2018 Pct Move Japan yen 109.260 109.56 +0.27 Sing dlr 1.381 1.3627 -1.33 Taiwan dlr 31.514 30.733 -2.48 Korean won 1193.500 1115.70 -6.52 Baht 31.840 32.55 +2.23 Peso 52.360 52.47 +0.21 Rupiah 14425.000 14375 -0.35 Rupee 69.790 69.77 -0.03 Ringgit 4.194 4.1300 -1.53 Yuan 6.913 6.8730 -0.57 (Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

EM ASIA FX-Most currencies ease on trade war woes, won leads decline

May 28 2019

* Won set to snap 6 sessions of gains * Peso weakens up to 0.3% * Baht gains on surprise April factory output growth (Adds text, updates prices) By Aby Jose Koilparambil May 28 Most Asian currencies weakened on Tuesday after U.S. President Donald Trump reinforced Washington's hard stance in its trade dispute with China, dampening market sentiment. In the absence of any key drivers from U.S. markets, which were shut on Monday for a holiday, emerging Asian currencies fell back on the underlying theme of Sino-U.S. trade tensions that have roiled global financial markets for months. Trump, who is on a visit to Japan, told a news conference in Tokyo that Washington was not ready to make a deal with Beijing but he expected one in the future. "The markets continue to be weighed down by concerns about the trade war as there is no positive news on that front," said Irene Cheung, senior strategist for Asia at ANZ Banking Group (Singapore). Cheung added that economic data from Asia, which is dependent on exports, remains negative and the trade war has caused countries in the region to experience huge outflows. The appreciation of the dollar, which gained 0.2% against a basket of six peers, also put some pressure on the emerging market currencies. The South Korean won led the losers, weakening as much as 0.4% and is set to snap a 6-session winning streak. Analysts at OCBC Bank said in a research note that if the market refocuses on trade issues, the won might "revisit recent lows" as the Bank of Korea was "not expected to put in a hawkish shift" in its monetary policy meeting on Friday. The won is the worst regional performer so far this year, having lost more than 6%. The Philippine peso also declined, losing as much as 0.3%, while the Chinese yuan and the Malaysian ringgit shed up to 0.2% each. The Indian rupee weakened as much as 0.3% after gaining for two straight sessions following the resounding victory of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling party in the general elections, handing him a second term in office. The Singapore dollar and the Taiwan dollar eased slightly. BAHT GAINS Bucking the trend, the Thai baht appreciated slightly before paring gains as the country's April factory output unexpectedly rose 2.03% from a year earlier. Thailand's manufacturing production index for April, which was released on Tuesday, rose unexpectedly, led by higher production of cars and air conditioners. The data compares with a forecast fall of 1.0% in a Reuters and against a revised 2.66% decline in March. The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against the dollar at 0537 GMT. CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR Japan yen 109.530 109.5 -0.03 Sing dlr 1.377 1.3750 -0.14 Taiwan dlr 31.468 31.450 -0.06 Korean won 1188.500 1184.5 -0.34 Baht 31.790 31.82 +0.09 Peso 52.240 52.15 -0.17 Rupiah 14375.000 14375 +0.00 Rupee 69.643 69.50 -0.21 Ringgit 4.189 4.185 -0.10 Yuan 6.906 6.8974 -0.12 Change so far in 2019 Currency Latest bid End 2018 Pct Move Japan yen 109.530 109.56 +0.03 Sing dlr 1.377 1.3627 -1.03 Taiwan dlr 31.468 30.733 -2.34 Korean won 1188.500 1115.70 -6.13 Baht 31.790 32.55 +2.39 Peso 52.240 52.47 +0.44 Rupiah 14375.000 14375 +0.00 Rupee 69.643 69.77 +0.18 Ringgit 4.189 4.1300 -1.41 Yuan 6.906 6.8730 -0.47 (Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

EM ASIA FX-S. Korean won leads gains; stable yuan lends regional support

May 27 2019

* Won touches two-week high * Indian rupee extends gains; close to 3-week peak * Philippine peso bucks trend (Adds text, updates prices) By Aby Jose Koilparambil May 27 Most Asian currencies rose on Monday, underpinned by a softer dollar and after a warning from China's top banking regulator against betting on the yuan, whose stability is vital for its regional peers. Although U.S.-China trade tensions remain the key driving theme for markets across assets, emerging Asian currencies started the week on a positive note as the dollar eased. The greenback fell from a two-year high after orders for U.S.-made capital goods contracted in further evidence that manufacturing and the broader economy are slowing. The weaker-than-expected data, a closely-watched proxy for business spending plans, drove the dollar lower and added to a fall which began Thursday following a report that showed manufacturing activity hit its lowest in almost a decade in May. On Monday, the dollar index was trading slightly weaker. Meanwhile, China's banking and insurance regulator said on Saturday it did not expect a persistent decline in the yuan , while adding that "those who speculate and short the yuan will for sure suffer heavy loss". The yuan rose as much as 0.2% to its highest in nearly two weeks despite data on Monday showing profits for China's industrial firms shrank in April as slowing manufacturing activity halted the previous month's surge. Sources had told Reuters China's central bank would use foreign exchange intervention and monetary policy tools to stop the yuan weakening past the key 7-per-dollar level in the near term. "The weaker U.S. durable goods orders data was a negative for the dollar, which was helping the Asian currencies," said Chang Wei Liang, forex strategist at Mizuho Bank. Chang added that the Chinese authorities did not want the weakness in the yuan to continue and if the unit's stability is anchored by policymakers, that would see more strength in Asian currencies. The yuan has lost more than 2.3% against the dollar since the festering China-U.S. trade dispute intensified earlier this month. The South Korean won was one among the major gainers on the day, appreciating as much as 0.5% to touch a two-week peak. South Korean finance ministry and central bank officials too had issued verbal warnings last week against disorderly currency market movements as the won weakened to a 2-1/2-year low against the dollar. The Indian rupee extended gains for a second straight session, strengthening as much as 0.2% to its firmest in nearly three weeks, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling party retained power with a massive mandate in the general elections. The Taiwan dollar and the Thai baht put on up to 0.3%, while the Indonesian rupiah and the Malaysian ringgit gained slightly. Bucking the trend, the Philippine peso weakened as much as 0.3% to 52.220 against the dollar. The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against the dollar at 0511 GMT. CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR Japan yen 109.460 109.29 -0.16 Sing dlr 1.373 1.3749 +0.11 Taiwan dlr 31.429 31.520 +0.29 Korean won 1184.000 1188.4 +0.37 Baht 31.780 31.83 +0.16 Peso 52.210 52.09 -0.23 Rupiah 14380.000 14385 +0.03 Rupee 69.500 69.53 +0.04 Ringgit 4.185 4.187 +0.06 Yuan 6.893 6.9005 +0.11 Change so far in 2019 Currency Latest bid End 2018 Pct Move Japan yen 109.460 109.56 +0.09 Sing dlr 1.373 1.3627 -0.78 Taiwan dlr 31.429 30.733 -2.21 Korean won 1184.000 1115.70 -5.77 Baht 31.780 32.55 +2.42 Peso 52.210 52.47 +0.50 Rupiah 14380.000 14375 -0.03 Rupee 69.500 69.77 +0.39 Ringgit 4.185 4.1300 -1.30 Yuan 6.893 6.8730 -0.29 (Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

Rupee set for weekly gain after Modi's landslide election win

May 24 2019

The rupee strengthened on Friday and is set for its first weekly gain in three after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling coalition scored a massive election win and supported by a decline in the crude oil price.

EM ASIA FX-Indian rupee rallies as PM Modi set for second term

May 23 2019

* Early counting trends suggest massive mandate for ruling party * South Korean won scales one-week high * Indonesian rupiah recovers from previous session's losses (Adds text, updates prices) By Aby Jose Koilparambil May 23 The Indian rupee gained as much as 0.4% on Thursday after early counting trends suggested a comfortable victory for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition, setting the stage for his second term with a stronger mandate. Exit polls had predicted a clear win for Modi in the election held over April and May, and the initial counting leads came in line with those predictions. The rupee has risen in all four sessions since the exit poll results were released on Sunday. "The initial leads are suggesting that the BJP is going to get a majority of its own and that is very positive for all asset classes because such a mandate brings political stability. There will be extensive capital inflows to India," said Anindya Banerjee, analyst at Kotak Securities. Banerjee added that the extent of appreciation in the rupee might be limited now but it stood to outperform its emerging market peers in the near term. Most other Asian currencies drifted lower but fared better than regional equities markets as stability in the Chinese yuan helped stave off pressure from U.S.-China trade tensions. The yuan, the Singapore dollar, the Thai baht, the Philippine peso and the Malaysian ringgit weakened, but traded in narrow ranges. "One key reason for wider Asian currency stability is the yuan staying below the 7.00 mark against the dollar. That is helping to curb the sentiment in the wider Asian currency space given that the yuan is such a big driver in the region," said Chang Wei Liang, forex strategist at Mizuho Bank. The South Korean won firmed as much as 0.4% to a one-week peak and is set for a fourth straight session of gains. After three consecutive months of losses and being down about 2% so far in May, the won's fortunes turned around this week. South Korean finance ministry and central bank officials on Wednesday issued verbal warnings against disorderly currency market movements, saying the exchange rate appeared to have been "overshooting" as the won was weakening "relatively fast". RUPIAH RECOVERS The Indonesian rupiah bounced back from the previous session's losses as calm returned to the streets of Jakarta after clashes between security forces and protesters angry over Indonesian President Joko Widodo winning a second term. The rupiah put on as much as 0.3% to 14,480 against the dollar, its best intraday percentage gain in three weeks. Commenting on the rupiah's recovery, analysts at Oanda said in a note that the political worries caused by overblown coverage of the riots would probably fade quickly. The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against the dollar at 0551 GMT. CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR Japan yen 110.280 110.34 +0.05 Sing dlr 1.380 1.3790 -0.09 Taiwan dlr 31.520 31.530 +0.03 Korean won 1189.200 1192.8 +0.30 Baht 31.970 31.94 -0.09 Peso 52.470 52.39 -0.15 Rupiah 14485.000 14520 +0.24 Rupee 69.535 69.66 +0.18 Ringgit 4.192 4.1845 -0.18 Yuan 6.914 6.9068 -0.10 Change so far in 2019 Currency Latest bid End 2018 Pct Move Japan yen 110.280 109.56 -0.65 Sing dlr 1.380 1.3627 -1.27 Taiwan dlr 31.520 30.733 -2.50 Korean won 1189.200 1115.70 -6.18 Baht 31.970 32.55 +1.81 Peso 52.470 52.47 +0.00 Rupiah 14485.000 14375 -0.76 Rupee 69.535 69.77 +0.34 Ringgit 4.192 4.1300 -1.48 Yuan 6.914 6.8730 -0.59 (Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

EM ASIA FX-Thai baht hit by weak GDP data; yuan up as US eases curbs on Huawei

May 21 2019

* Thai baht hits near 2-week low * Chinese yuan, Philippine peso, Korean won appreciate * Singapore dollar capped as Q1 growth slips (Adds text, updates prices) By Aby Jose Koilparambil May 21 The Thai baht on Tuesday slipped to its weakest level in nearly two weeks on soft economic data, underperforming most of its counterparts which were relieved by Washington's decision to ease some of its restrictions on Chinese telecoms giant Huawei. But the underlying tone in markets remained cautious as the trade war between the United States and China showed no signs of easing, with the broad impact filtering through to many economies. The trade-dependent Thai economy, the latest to show the effects of the trade tensions and cooling global demand, grew at its slowest annual pace in more than four years in the first quarter, hurt by softer exports. Southeast Asia's second-largest economy expanded 2.8% from a year earlier, missing the 3.0% forecast in a Reuters poll. The baht weakened as much as 0.5% to 31.890 against the U.S. dollar, though it remains the best regional performer this year, gaining more than 2%. "Today's GDP print affirms recent signs that growth in Thailand is on a clear downswing... Structural weakness in vehicle demand globally and a cyclical downturn in the semiconductor sector poses continued external headwinds for Thailand's manufacturing sector," said Noelan Arbis, economist at HSBC Global Research, in a note. Currency markets in Asia took some comfort after Washington temporarily eased restrictions imposed last week on Huawei, a move aimed at minimizing disruption for its customers. The Chinese yuan gained by as much as 0.2% on the day. The currency has fallen about 2.5% since U.S. President Donald Trump said on May 5 he will raise tariffs on $200 billion of imports from China to 25% from 10%, deepening a rift between the two economic superpowers. Among other gainers, the Philippine peso and the South Korean won strengthened 0.2% each, while the Indian rupee rose slightly. The Indonesian rupiah weakened a bit on a day when incumbent President Joko Widodo was declared winner in last month's election, amid claims of widespread cheating by opposition. SINGAPORE DOLLAR The Singapore dollar was little changed, not helped by data showing the city-state's annual economic growth slipped to the lowest in nearly a decade in the first quarter. That prompted the government to downgrade its full-year growth forecast. Gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 1.2% year-on-year in the three months ended March 31, down slightly from the 1.3% seen in the government's advance estimate and the fourth quarter's revised 1.3% pace. The result, which was below the 1.5% growth forecast in a Reuters poll, marked the slowest annual expansion for any quarter since April-June 2009. The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against the dollar at 0524 GMT. CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR Japan yen 110.150 110.05 -0.09 Sing dlr 1.376 1.3763 -0.01 Taiwan dlr 31.429 31.385 -0.14 Korean won 1193.400 1194.2 +0.07 Baht 31.870 31.72 -0.47 Peso 52.564 52.626 +0.12 Rupiah 14470.000 14450 -0.14 Rupee 69.750 69.74 -0.02 Ringgit 4.184 4.175 -0.22 Yuan 6.903 6.9133 +0.15 Change so far in 2019 Currency Latest bid End 2018 Pct Move Japan yen 110.150 109.56 -0.54 Sing dlr 1.376 1.3627 -1.00 Taiwan dlr 31.429 30.733 -2.21 Korean won 1193.400 1115.70 -6.51 Baht 31.870 32.55 +2.13 Peso 52.564 52.47 -0.18 Rupiah 14470.000 14375 -0.66 Rupee 69.750 69.77 +0.03 Ringgit 4.184 4.1300 -1.29 Yuan 6.903 6.8730 -0.44 (Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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