* Won hits 4-month high on foreigners' stock buying
* Taiwan dollar gains on foreign financial inflows
* Ringgit, Philippine peso higher on short-covering
(Adds text, updates prices)
By Jongwoo Cheon
SINGAPORE, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Most emerging Asian currencies
rose on Monday as investors covered short positions after
lukewarm U.S. job data and stronger-than-expected China exports
that lifted regional stocks.
The South Korean won hit a four-month high on
sustained stock inflows, while the Taiwan dollar
outperformed regional peers thanks to demand from foreign
The Malaysian ringgit and the Philippine peso
advanced as investors cut bearish positions.
U.S. employers in August hired fewer people than expected,
sparking views that the Federal Reserve will still cut its
stimulus this month, but by less than earlier anticipated.
China's exports grew more than forecast last month in
another sign of stabilisation in the world's second-largest
Still, emerging Asian currencies are unlikely to appreciate
further as long as investors maintain expectations that the Fed
may dial down its quantitative easing, analysts and traders
"The weak jobs data hasn't changed expectations for the Fed
to start tapering soon," said Frances Cheung, Credit Agricole
CIB's senior strategist in Hong Kong.
"There is scope for renewed weakness in the coming weeks,
before a rebound some time in the fourth quarter," Cheung added,
when asked if emerging Asian currencies would fall further.
Most U.S. primary dealers expect the Fed, at its policy
meeting on Sept. 17-18, will cut the size of its bond
purchases, according to a Reuters poll.
"Asia will see more weakness heading into the Fed meeting,"
said Sean Yokota, head of Asia strategy at Scandinavian bank SEB
"At this stage, Fed is the dominant factor since it is at
the very beginning of the cyclical recovery in Asia and the
positive outlook still has risks whereas the impact of Fed
tapering carries more certainty."
The South Korean won has bucked the recent trend of
depreciation among emerging Asian currencies as investors chased
the country's assets due to economic and fiscal fundamentals
that are stronger than others in Asia.
However, Yokota said the won is likely to track regional
The won rose as much as 1,087.3 per dollar, its strongest
since May 9, as foreign investors extended a buying spree to a
12th consecutive session.
Foreign investors have bought a combined net 3.4 trillion
won ($3.1 billion) in Seoul's main stock market,
according to Korea Exchange data.
Still, lingering caution over possible intervention by
foreign exchange authorities limited the won's upside. Importers
also bought dollars on dips, traders said.
"The won stays on an appreciation trend and may head to
1,080," said a senior foreign bank trader in Seoul.
"But exporters are likely to wait for better levels to buy
amid intervention risks," he added.
The South Korean currency is seen facing chart resistance at
1,083.0, the high of May 9. The next resistance stands at
1,080.2, the 76.4 percent Fibonacci retracement of its
depreciation from January through June.
The Taiwan dollar advanced on inflows from foreign financial
institutions and as exporters lined up to buy it for settlements
around 29.800 to the U.S. dollar.
But the central bank was spotted intervening to stem its
appreciation, traders said.
Domestic importers also purchased the greenback around
29.730, according to traders.
The ringgit gained as three- and five-year government bond
Investors, however, hesitated to buy the currency on
sustained concerns over the Fed's reduction in stimulus and
Malaysia's fiscal deficit.
A senior Malaysian bank trader in Kuala Lumpur said the
ringgit is unlikely to strengthen past 3.3000 per dollar and he
would sell the ringgit around the level for 3.3400.
"Market is focusing on Southeast Asia due to structural
problems with twin-deficits," the trader said.
"Malaysia still sees trade and current account surpluses,
but they are deteriorating," he added.
The peso started the local trade at 44.25 per dollar, but
investors sold the Philippine currency from the session high.
It is expected to stay under pressure from local companies'
mid-month dollar demand, traders said. The Fed is still seen
scaling back its bond-buying programme, they added.
"The Fed tapering is still the talk," said a foreign bank
trader in Manila.
CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
Change on the day at 0430 GMT
Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move
Japan yen 99.69 99.13 -0.56
Sing dlr 1.2748 1.2737 -0.09
Taiwan dlr 29.736 29.900 +0.55
Korean won 1088.30 1093.00 +0.43
Baht 32.27 32.39 +0.37
Peso 44.39 44.48 +0.21
Rupiah 11170.00 11150.00 -0.18
*Rupee 65.24 65.24 -0.00
Ringgit 3.3125 3.3285 +0.48
Yuan 6.1166 6.1205 +0.06
Change so far in 2013
Currency Latest bid End prev year Pct Move
Japan yen 99.69 86.79 -12.94
Sing dlr 1.2748 1.2219 -4.15
Taiwan dlr 29.736 29.136 -2.02
Korean won 1088.30 1070.60 -1.63
Baht 32.27 30.61 -5.14
Peso 44.39 41.05 -7.51
Rupiah 11170.00 9630.00 -13.79
Rupee 65.24 54.99 -15.71
Ringgit 3.3125 3.0580 -7.68
Yuan 6.1166 6.2303 +1.86
* Financial markets in India are closed for a holiday.
(Additional reporting by Lin Miao-jung in TAIPEI; Editing by
- UK International News
- USA News
- Taiwan dollar