EM ASIA FX-U.S. jobs caution drives Asia FX lower for week; won sparkles

Reuters

* Rupiah at fresh 4-year low on corp dollar demand

* Ringgit falls more after weaker trade balance

* Won rises on stock inflows, short-covering

(Adds text, updates prices)

By Jongwoo Cheon

SINGAPORE, Sept 6 (Reuters) - Most emerging Asian currencies

fell on Friday and are set for weekly losses due to growing

expectations of a withdrawal of the Federal Reserve's stimulus

before a key U.S. jobs report, while the South Korean won bucked

the trend on stock inflows.

The Indonesian rupiah hit a fresh four-year low on

sustained dollar demand from local companies and weaker stocks.

The Malaysian ringgit fell more after data showed

the country's July trade surplus missed market expectations.

The dollar held firm near a seven-week high against a basket

of currencies after a strong U.S. service sector report and a

solid private jobs figure.

The 10-year U.S. Treasury bond yield stayed

around 3.00 percent.

"Concerns are becoming intense for Asian markets and the

re-adjustment to normalcy in U.S. financial markets are still

ongoing," said Suresh Kumar Ramanathan, head of regional

interest rate and FX strategy at CIMB Investment Bank in Kuala

Lumpur.

"The steepness in the U.S. treasury yield curve, more so due

to economic fundamentals of the U.S. economy being positive, has

rattled Asian markets as interest rate spreads continue to

narrow against Asia debt papers," he added.

Most emerging Asian currencies are on the course for weekly

slides, led by the rupiah.

For the week, the Indonesian currency's indicative prices

have lost 2.2 percent against the dollar so far this week,

according to Thomson Reuters data.

The ringgit has fallen 1.3 percent and the Thai baht

has eased 0.7 percent. The Singapore dollar

has dipped 0.4 percent.

The Indian rupee fell 0.8 percent despite a sharp

rebound on Thursday after the new central bank chief unveiled

steps to support the ailing currency.

Regional units are expected to weaken further if August U.S.

jobs data cement views the Fed may start scaling back its

bond-buying programme as soon as this month, analysts and

traders said.

"I don't think Asian currencies have fully priced the Fed

tapering and earlier than expected timeline of the reduction in

the Fed balance sheet yet," said Saktiandi Supaat, head of FX

research for Maybank in Singapore.

"Emerging market outflows probably will continue slowly,

volatility will remain significant in the near term and so

dollar/Asia will have room for slight moves upside in the near

term."

U.S. non-farm payrolls were estimated to rise 180,000 in

August, according to a Reuters poll.

Despite regional weaknesses, the South Korean won

has risen 1.3 percent so far this week, thanks to capital

inflows and demand from local exporters.

RUPIAH

Spot indicative rupiah lost 0.5 percent to 11,150 per

dollar, while it traded weaker than the level on strong demand

from local companies, traders said.

The central bank was spotted providing dollar liquidity

around the screen price, but the rupiah was seen weakening

further, traders added.

Forwards markets pointed to further weakness with one-month

non-deliverable forwards sliding to 11,960, the

weakest since March 2009.

The one-month offshore/onshore forward spread widened to 712

basis points, the widest since November 2008, during the global

financial crisis.

RINGGIT

The ringgit extended its slide as Malaysia reported a 2.9

billion ringgit ($877.5 million) trade surplus in July, lower

than a forecast of 3.9 billion ringgit.

Earlier, the Malaysian currency was already under pressure

from bond outflows and as investors were cautious before the

U.S. jobs data, traders said.

"Nobody wants to stay short dollar before the weekend," said

a senior Malaysian bank trader in Kuala Lumpur.

WON

The won gained as demand linked to foreigners' continuous

stock purchases prompted short-covering and on a lack of

importers' dollar purchases.

Investors stayed cautious over possible intervention by the

foreign exchange authorities to stem its upside.

Still, the won was expected to stay firm, traders and

analysts said.

"Any dips in the won would be short lived," said Jeong

My-young, Samsung Futures research head in Seoul.

"The won may see some corrections if other major currencies

fall. But it will find solid support at 1,110," she added,

referring to the won's value against the dollar.

TAIWAN DOLLAR

The Taiwan dollar rose from Thursday's close of

29.985 per U.S. dollar, when it fell back from central bank

intervention to smoothen trade volatility, traders said.

The island's currency found support from inflows of foreign

financial institutions, they added.

But it was facing a strong chart resistance at 29,700,

traders said.

It has a 200-day moving average at 29,713 and has been

closing local daily sessions weaker than the average since May

10.

CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR

Change on the day at 0430 GMT

Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move

Japan yen 99.91 100.11 +0.20

Sing dlr 1.2799 1.2808 +0.07

Taiwan dlr 29.787 29.985 +0.66

Korean won 1096.10 1098.40 +0.21

Baht 32.40 32.31 -0.28

Peso 44.52 44.54 +0.03

Rupiah 11150.00 11100.00 -0.45

Rupee 66.25 66.01 -0.36

Ringgit 3.3270 3.3050 -0.66

Yuan 6.1204 6.1199 -0.01

Change so far in 2013

Currency Latest bid End prev year Pct Move

Japan yen 99.91 86.79 -13.13

Sing dlr 1.2799 1.2219 -4.53

Taiwan dlr 29.787 29.136 -2.19

Korean won 1096.10 1070.60 -2.33

Baht 32.40 30.61 -5.52

Peso 44.52 41.05 -7.79

Rupiah 11150.00 9630.00 -13.63

Rupee 66.25 54.99 -17.00

Ringgit 3.3270 3.0580 -8.09

Yuan 6.1204 6.2303 +1.80

($1 = 3.3050 Malaysian ringgits)

(Reporting by Jongwoo Cheon in SINGAPORE; Editing by Jacqueline

Wong)

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