* Rupiah at 4-1/2-yr low on corporate dlr demand
* Won falls on offshore funds; foreigners keep buying stocks
* Ringgit down, supported at 3.24/dlr for now
(Adds text, updates prices)
By Jongwoo Cheon
Sept 25(Reuters) - The Indonesian rupiah fell 1 percent on
Wednesday, leading slides among emerging Asian currencies amid
concerns over a possible U.S. government shutdown and
uncertainty about the Federal Reserve's monetary policy outlook.
The rupiah weakened to as low as 11,580 per dollar,
matching Tuesday's low, which was the weakest since April 2009.
Increasing dollar demand from local companies for month-end
payments put pressure on the currency, though central bank
intervention curbed losses, traders said.
The South Korean won slid as offshore funds sold
it and on dollar demand from importers. The Malaysian ringgit
also weakened due to selling from offshore investors.
Regional stocks fell as Tea-Party backed U.S. Senators are
threatening to stall a bill to fund the U.S.
Suresh Kumar Ramanathan, head of regional interest rate and
FX strategy at CIMB Investment Bank, said the Fed has
technically started to taper off stimulus since Monday.
On that day, the New York Fed said it accepted $11.81
billion in cash as part of the first test of a new reserve repo
tool that is meant to help control short-term interest rate.
"Markets are not aware of this, but Asia will now start
fretting," said Ramanathan in Kuala Lumpur.
"I expect much of Asian FX will be under pressure and
structurally weak economies will remain in trouble," he said,
adding the rupiah and the Indonesian rupee may suffer more.
Last week, most emerging Asian currencies rose after the
Fed's shock decision to maintain its bond-buying programme.
But regional units gave up some of the gains this week on
uncertainty over whether the U.S. central bank will start to
dial back stimulus later this year.
The won fell as offshore funds cut bullish bets in the South
Korean currency and on weaker Seoul shares.
Selling from offshore funds came amid increased caution that
the foreign exchange authorities may not allow the won to
strengthen past 1,070 per dollar. The authorities had been
recently spotted intervening to stem appreciation in the
second-best performing Asian currency, according to traders.
"Given offshore funds' strong dollar demand, the won has
room to weaken to around 1,090," said a senior foreign bank
trader in Seoul, referring to the won's value against the
Still, foreign investors extended a buying spree in the
country's main stock market to a 21 consecutive session,
reversing earlier selling.
Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co Ltd 042660.KS
said on Tuesday it had won a 572.8 billion won ($534.2
million)order to build a large jack-up rig for Denmark's Maersk
Drilling, causing expectations of more demand for the won.
The ringgit fell as offshore funds sold it and local
interbank speculators joined the offers.
Still, some investors looked to cover short positions in the
Malaysian currency around 3.2400 per dollar.
It has the 50.0 percent Fibonacci retracement at 3.2395 of
its appreciation between late August and earlier September.
"I will not buy dollars here as the ringgit has reached our
target," said a senior Malaysian bank trader in Kuala Lumpur.
CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
Change on the day at 0505 GMT
Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move
Japan yen 98.67 98.74 +0.07
Sing dlr 1.2563 1.2543 -0.16
Taiwan dlr 29.586 29.632 +0.16
Korean won 1077.30 1072.20 -0.47
Baht 31.41 31.31 -0.32
Peso 43.53 43.37 -0.37
Rupiah 11575.00 11460.00 -0.99
Rupee 62.59 62.75 +0.26
Ringgit 3.2330 3.2155 -0.54
Yuan 6.1211 6.1210 -0.00
Change so far in 2013
Currency Latest bid End prev year Pct Move
Japan yen 98.67 86.79 -12.04
Sing dlr 1.2563 1.2219 -2.74
Taiwan dlr 29.586 29.136 -1.52
Korean won 1077.30 1070.60 -0.62
Baht 31.41 30.61 -2.55
Peso 43.53 41.05 -5.70
Rupiah 11575.00 9630.00 -16.80
Rupee 62.59 54.99 -12.14
Ringgit 3.2330 3.0580 -5.41
Yuan 6.1211 6.2303 +1.78
($1 = 1072.3 won)
(Editing by Kim Coghill)
- USA News