EM ASIA FX-Rupiah at 4-1/2-yr low; Fed uncertainty weighs on Asia FX

Reuters

* Month-end dollar demand hits rupiah

* Indonesian c.bank intervention spotted - traders

* Philippine peso, ringgit down offshore funds

(Adds text, updates prices)

By Jongwoo Cheon

SINGAPORE, Sept 24 (Reuters) - The Indonesian rupiah fell to

its lowest level in four and a half years on Tuesday, leading

slides among emerging Asian currencies amid uncertainty over

whether the U.S. Federal Reserve will begin scaling back its

stimulus later this year.

The rupiah lost ground on increasing dollar demand

from local companies for month-end payments.

The Malaysian ringgit and the Philippine peso

also slid as offshore funds sold them, traders said.

Regional stocks also eased as Fed officials suggested the

Fed could still begin scaling back its stimulus later this year,

after last week's surprising decision to maintain the programme

at $85 billion a month.

"Despite last week's shock, the market is pricing in a view

that the Fed will eventually taper within this year," said Yuna

Park, a currency and bond analyst at Dongbu Securities in Seoul.

"Asian currencies may not fall much further from here due to

the dollar's overall weakness, but it looks better to sell them

on rallies," Park added.

The dollar was under pressure as New York Fed President

William Dudley, a well known dove and close ally of Fed Chairman

Ben Bernanke, justified the action, saying on Monday the central

bank must for now continue to push hard against threats to the

economy.

RUPIAH

The rupiah fell to as low as 11,580 per dollar, its weakest

since April 2009.

Indonesia's central bank was spotted providing dollar

through state-run banks to support the ailing currency, traders

said.

Some local lenders bought the rupiah, but corporate dollar

demand overwhelmed such bids, traders added.

"The rupiah is seen testing 11,600 this week," said a

Jakarta-based trader.

"As long as there is month-end demand, it is a bit difficult

to see a rebound," the trader added.

RINGGIT

The ringgit started the day firmer but turned lower as

offshore funds and local interbank speculators sold it.

Kuala Lumpur stocks fell, while 3-year and 10-year

government bond yields rose.

"The market seems in a revenge mode after the last week's

mauling," said a senior Malaysian bank trader in Kuala Lumpur.

The Malaysian currency jumped 3.9 percent against the dollar

last week after the Fed's decision to stand pat on stimulus.

The trader looked to sell the ringgit on rallies around

3.2000 per dollar for 3.2400.

PHILIPPINE PESO

The peso fell as investors including offshore funds covered

dollar-short positions on overall weakness in regional

currencies, traders said.

The Philippine currency found some support around 43.400 per

dollar as some offshore investors bought it on dips.

The International Monetary Fund said the Philippines was

well positioned to deal with any capital outflows when the Fed

cuts its stimulus, although the body slightly lowered its growth

forecast for the country.

"I would rather buy dollars but recon it's not a one-way

bet," said a senior Philippine bank trader in Manila.

"It is still range bound between 43.10 and 43.50 in the

short term."

CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR

Change on the day at 0430 GMT

Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move

Japan yen 98.79 98.84 +0.05

Sing dlr 1.2530 1.2501 -0.23

Taiwan dlr 29.560 29.629 +0.23

Korean won 1075.30 1073.80 -0.14

Baht 31.28 31.26 -0.06

Peso 43.36 43.27 -0.22

Rupiah 11522.00 11470.00 -0.45

Rupee 62.73 62.60 -0.21

Ringgit 3.2040 3.1990 -0.16

Yuan 6.1194 6.1210 +0.03

Change so far in 2013

Currency Latest bid End prev year Pct Move

Japan yen 98.79 86.79 -12.15

Sing dlr 1.2530 1.2219 -2.48

Taiwan dlr 29.560 29.136 -1.43

Korean won 1075.30 1070.60 -0.44

Baht 31.28 30.61 -2.14

Peso 43.36 41.05 -5.33

Rupiah 11522.00 9630.00 -16.42

Rupee 62.73 54.99 -12.34

Ringgit 3.2040 3.0580 -4.56

Yuan 6.1194 6.2303 +1.81

(Editing by Kim Coghill)

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