EM ASIA FX-Rupee leads Asia FX rallies on Fed relief; ringgit, baht jump

Reuters

(Updates prices. For midday report, double-click

)

SINGAPORE, Sept 19 (Reuters) - The Indian rupee hit a near

five-week high on Thursday, leading emerging Asian currencies'

gains, after the U.S. Federal Reserve surprised investors by

postponing the start of reductions to its monetary stimulus,

prompting capital inflows to the region.

The Fed said it wanted to wait for more evidence of solid

growth in the world's top economy and Chairman Ben Bernanke

refused to commit to reducing bond purchases this year,

stressing that the programme was "not on a preset course."

The rupee surged as much as 2.8 percent to 61.64

per dollar, its strongest since Aug. 16, as the Fed's decision

is expected to give India's central bank the flexibility to roll

back tightening steps it took to stabilise the currency.

The Malaysian ringgit extended gains to hit a

three-month high on demand from real money funds and hedge

funds.

The Indonesian rupiah advanced on capital inflows,

though corporate demand for dollars limited its upside.

The Thai baht rose 2.4 percent to 30.93 per dollar,

its strongest since July 25 on demand from real money accounts

and bond inflows.

The Philippine peso ended local trade at 43.05

per dollar, the highest since July 1 on buying by offshore

funds.

The central banks of Thailand and the Philippines said they

would act if necessary to contain movements, and traders said

Thursday's gains by both the baht and the peso were capped by

intervention.

The South Korean won rose in offshore forwards markets, with

local financial markets closed for holidays. One-month

non-deliverable forwards to the dollar were quoted

at 1,072.9 versus around 1,083 on Wednesday afternoon.

CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR

Change on the day at 0844 GMT

Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move

Japan yen 98.77 97.96 -0.82

Sing dlr 1.2444 1.2460 +0.13

*Taiwan dlr 29.722 29.752 +0.10

*Korean won 1070.88 1084.10 +1.23

Baht 30.94 31.68 +2.38

Peso 43.05 43.53 +1.11

Rupiah 11277.00 11460.00 +1.62

Rupee 61.68 63.38 +2.76

Ringgit 3.1520 3.2340 +2.60

*Yuan 6.1212 6.1215 +0.00

Change so far in 2013

Currency Latest bid End prev year Pct Move

Japan yen 98.77 86.79 -12.13

Sing dlr 1.2444 1.2219 -1.81

Taiwan dlr 29.722 29.136 -1.97

Korean won 1070.88 1070.60 -0.03

Baht 30.94 30.61 -1.07

Peso 43.05 41.05 -4.65

Rupiah 11277.00 9630.00 -14.60

Rupee 61.68 54.99 -10.85

Ringgit 3.1520 3.0580 -2.98

Yuan 6.1212 6.2303 +1.78

* Financial markets in China, South Korea and Taiwan are closed

for holidays Thursday and Friday.

(Reporting by Jongwoo Cheon; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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