* Philippine peso edges up on post-c.bank short covering
* Thailand to cut amount of some bonds offered to foreigners
* Taiwan dlr hits 9-wk high on exporters; c.bank caps
* Won flat on intervention, N.Korea
(Adds text, updates prices)
By Jongwoo Cheon
SINGAPORE, April 26 (Reuters) - Most emerging Asian
currencies rose on Friday as a record high Chinese yuan boosted
speculation of a widening in the daily trading band, while the
Thai baht fell on government steps to curb its strength.
Demand from exporters and foreign investors pushed the
Taiwan dollar and the South Korean won to a
nine-week high and a one-month peak, respectively, although they
gave up some gains with intervention spotted, traders said.
The won ended local trade weaker on renewed concerns over
geopolitical tensions with North Korea.
The Philippine peso gained as investors covered
bearish positions after the central bank on Thursday left its
policy rate steady, as expected, but slashed yields on peso
Regional units appreciated as the yuan hit
another historical high after the central bank set its midpoint
sharply higher, increasing speculation of a possible widening in
the yuan's daily trading band.
The yen also rebounded on short-covering after the
Bank of Japan kept monetary policy steady as expected.
Weakness in the Japanese currency has been a headache for
some emerging Asian countries, as it is seen hurting their
export competitiveness and spurring hot money inflows.
"After the G20 summit this month, Abenomics is no longer
viewed as primarily a weak exchange rate policy...Officials from
the Abe cabinet are also voicing that they are satisfied with
the yen at current levels, with no urgency to weaken it beyond
100 against the US dollar," DBS said in a note, referring to
Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's economic policy.
"Against this background, AXJ (Asia ex-Japan) currencies
have rightfully returned focus to the strong Chinese yuan," it
A firm yuan, especially after a strong fixing, usually
supports emerging Asian currencies as it indicates Beijing's
confidence in the world's No.2 economy.
Investors also bought some regional units such as the
Malaysian ringgit and the Singapore dollar for
proxy trades to bet on a stronger yuan.
But the monetary authorities of China's regional neighbours
are unlikely to allow their currencies to appreciate in step.
The baht fell, losing 2.7 percent against the
dollar so far this week, according to Thomson Reuters data, as
the authorities took steps to stem the best performing Asian
currency in 2013.
Thailand will cut the amount of amortised and
inflation-linked bonds offered to foreign investors in an effort
to curb capital inflows and hold down the baht, a senior Finance
Ministry official said.
Earlier this week, the Bank of Thailand was spotted buying
dollars, traders said.
The Taiwan dollar advanced 0.6 percent to 29.560 to the U.S.
dollar, its strongest since Feb. 21, as more exporters chased it
for settlements ahead of the month-end.
The island's currency found more support as a record high
yuan attracted inflows from foreign financial institutions
although the size was relatively small, traders said.
But the central bank was spotted buying the U.S. currency,
especially below 29.600 to the Taiwan dollar for intervention,
The won earlier rose 0.4 percent to 1,107.9 per dollar, its
strongest since March 27 on exporters' demand for settlements
and bond inflows.
Foreign investors bought a net 2.3 trillion won ($2.1
billion) in treasury bond futures, their largest daily
purchase since July 2011, according to the Korea Exchange.
But the South Korean currency ended at 1,112.3 in the
domestic market, compared with its previous close of 1,112.1 as
the foreign exchange authorities were suspected of intervening
around 1,108 and 1,109, traders said.
North Korea rejected a South Korean proposal for talks aimed
at restarting a joint factory zone saying the South had acted in
an "unpardonable" manner to jeopardise a "precious" legacy of
the rivals' bid to seek peace.
The peso rose as investors covered short positions after the
central bank on Thursday lowered the rate on its special deposit
account by 50 basis points to contain the currency's strength.
Some investors had expected a bigger cut or more warnings on
the currency, so the predicted decision disappointed them,
Sentiment on the peso had turned bearish since June last
year as the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) took measures to
curb the currency's strength, a Reuters poll showed late on
"The market was expecting some rhetoric from BSP of further
cuts or restrictions on the SDA that did not materialise
yesterday. That is why it triggered some dollar selling after
the decision," said a foreign bank trader in Manila, referring
to the Special Deposit Account.
The peso may appreciate more on sustained inflows, but the
central bank is unlikely to allow the peso to strengthen past
41.00 per dollar, the trader said.
The baht fell as much as 1.0 percent to 29.40 to the dollar,
its weakest since April 4.
Some foreign investors sold bonds, pushing up the five- and
10- year bond yields.
Thailand's finance minister will meet the central bank
governor later in the day to push for a cut in interest rates to
deter inflows that have pushed the currency to a 16-year high.
The baht is expected to come under pressure from caution
over intervention and measures to cope with inflows, traders
"As long as we have uncertainties over the measures, we
could see the baht fall further," said a senior Thai bank trader
The baht could weaken to 29.60, the trader added.
CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
Change on the day at 0700 GMT
Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move
Japan yen 98.69 99.26 +0.58
Sing dlr 1.2373 1.2390 +0.14
Taiwan dlr 29.645 29.750 +0.35
Korean won 1111.69 1112.10 +0.04
Baht 29.34 29.10 -0.82
Peso 41.23 41.26 +0.07
Rupiah 9718.00 9715.00 -0.03
Rupee 54.27 54.21 -0.11
Ringgit 3.0360 3.0380 +0.07
Yuan 6.1654 6.1707 +0.09
Change so far in 2013
Currency Latest bid End prev year Pct Move
Japan yen 98.69 86.79 -12.06
Sing dlr 1.2373 1.2219 -1.24
Taiwan dlr 29.645 29.136 -1.72
Korean won 1111.69 1070.60 -3.70
Baht 29.34 30.61 +4.33
Peso 41.23 41.05 -0.44
Rupiah 9718.00 9630.00 -0.91
Rupee 54.27 54.99 +1.33
Ringgit 3.0360 3.0580 +0.72
Yuan 6.1654 6.2303 +1.05
($1 = 1112.2250 Korean won)
(Additional reporting by Emily Chan in TAIPEI and Lee Kyoungho
in SEOUL; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)