EM ASIA FX-Singapore dollar firms after c.bank stance, GDP; most Asia FX dip

Reuters

* Singapore policy stays tight as Q3 GDP beats f'cast

* Indian rupee down before inflation data

* Won falls on importers, intervention caution

(Adds details, updates prices)

By Jongwoo Cheon

SEOUL, Oct 14 (Reuters) - The Singapore dollar turned higher

on Monday as the central bank kept its tight policy stance with

stronger-than-expected third quarter growth and warned of higher

core inflation, while most emerging Asian currencies eased.

The city-state's currency was quoted at 1.2457 per U.S.

dollar as of 0410 GMT, compared with Friday's close of 1.2460.

The Singapore dollar stood at 1.2474 before the Monetary

Authority of Singapore stuck to its stance of allowing "modest

and gradual" appreciation of the currency as expected.

The local dollar found more support as the trade-dependent

Southeast Asian city-state reported better-than-expected 5.1

percent growth in third quarter gross domestic product from a

year earlier due to continued strength in services.

"We would not describe today's statement as hawkish but

cautiously optimistic and inherently sanguine," said Emmanuel

Ng, a foreign exchange strategist for OCBC Bank in Singapore,

referring to the MAS's policy decision.

"Any risk in April would be towards a tightening, but this

would have to be strongly predicated on a steady and

uninterrupted recovery in global growth prospects in the next

six months," Ng added.

The Singapore dollar is seen having a chart resistance

around 1.2450, but it may head to 1.2423, the high of Sept. 19,

once the level is broken, analysts said.

The next level would be 1.2408, the 76.4 percent Fibonacci

retracement of its depreciation between May and August, they

added.

"Investors are likely to buy the Singapore dollar around

1.2480-1.2490 as there is no rational to sell it," said a

foreign bank trader in Singapore.

"For now, it looks difficult to chase the Singapore dollar

here, given the U.S. debt issue," the trader added.

Most emerging Asian currencies and regional shares fell as a

possible U.S. debt default loomed after the failure of weekend

talks in Washington, though expectations are that a last-minute

compromise will be reached.

The Indian rupee slid before September inflation

data due later in the day.

The Thai baht also slid, tracking weaker local

stocks.

WON

The won eased on dollar demand from local importers amid

caution over possible intervention by the foreign exchange

authorities to stem its appreciation.

The South Korean currency's downside, however, was limited

as foreign investors extended their buying spree in Seoul's main

exchange to a 32nd consecutive session.

"The won is under some pressure from early dollar demand

from oil importers. But it is hard to find any clear direction

now," said a South Korean bank trader in Seoul.

CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR

Change on the day at 0410 GMT

Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move

*Japan yen 98.27 98.60 +0.34

Sing dlr 1.2457 1.2460 +0.02

Taiwan dlr 29.384 29.490 +0.36

Korean won 1072.90 1071.40 -0.14

Baht 31.32 31.26 -0.21

Peso 43.15 43.14 -0.03

*Rupiah 11360.00 11355.00 -0.04

Rupee 61.27 61.07 -0.32

Ringgit 3.1770 3.1800 +0.09

Yuan 6.1157 6.1206 +0.08

Change so far in 2013

Currency Latest bid End prev year Pct Move

Japan yen 98.27 86.79 -11.68

Sing dlr 1.2457 1.2219 -1.91

Taiwan dlr 29.384 29.136 -0.84

Korean won 1072.90 1070.60 -0.21

Baht 31.32 30.61 -2.27

Peso 43.15 41.05 -4.87

Rupiah 11360.00 9630.00 -15.23

Rupee 61.27 54.99 -10.24

Ringgit 3.1770 3.0580 -3.75

Yuan 6.1157 6.2303 +1.87

* Financial markets in Indonesia and Japan are closed for

holidays.

(Additional reporting by Yena Park; Editing by)

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