EM ASIA FX-Won, Taiwan dollar lead Asia FX gains on upbeat global data

Reuters

* Won at 4-mth high on offshore funds, foreign stock buying

* Taiwan dollar hits 3-mth high on inflows, exporters

* Ringgit higher after fuel subsides cut

(Adds comment, updates prices)

By Jongwoo Cheon

SINGAPORE, Sept 3 (Reuters) - The South Korean won and the

Taiwan dollar led gains among emerging Asian currencies on

Tuesday as solid factory data around the globe and a delay in a

possible U.S. strike on Syria boosted risk appetite.

The Malaysian ringgit touched a three-week high

after the country cut fuel subsides to reduce its fiscal

deficit, which had prompted capital outflows.

The won hit a four-month high on demand from

offshore funds. The Taiwan dollar also rose to its

highest in almost three months on foreign financial inflows and

exporters.

Regional stocks gained on the back of strong manufacturing

activity in China and Europe.

Still, investors stayed cautious ahead of U.S. August jobs

data due on Friday, seeking clues to when the Federal Reserve

will start reducing its bond-buying programme.

"The won will keep rising as it breached important

resistance levels such as a 200-day moving average," said Jeong

My-young, Samsung Futures research head in Seoul.

"But gains in other Asian currencies are seen as only

technical rebounds after sharp falls. It is difficult to buy

some troubled currencies as their governments have not provided

strong solutions, and on the looming Fed decision to cut asset

purchases," Jeong added.

The embattled Indian rupee and Indonesian rupiah

were left out of the regional rallies reflecting

investors' lack of confidence.

Indonesia posted a record trade deficit in July, suggesting

policymakers will struggle to narrow the gaping current account

gap.

WON

The won rose as much as 0.6 percent to 1,093.8 per dollar,

its strongest since May 9 as offshore funds chased it amid

continuous share-buying by foreign investors.

Offshore funds covered short-positions which they had built

up expecting the won to stay weaker than 1,100, traders said.

Some foreign investors added fresh bullish bets, they added.

Foreign exchange authorities have not been spotted

attempting to stem the won's strength, traders said, despite

growing concerns over intervention.

"I can see few signs of a retreat to 1,104. A key is U.S.

jobs data on Friday. But the won will not weaken much if the

number is much better than expectations," said a foreign bank

trader in Seoul.

The South Korean currency on Monday strengthened past a

200-day moving average, which was at 1,104.0 in the previous

day.

The next level is seen at 1,083.0, its high on May 9,

analysts said.

Still, some offshore funds took profits, while custodian

banks bought dollars on dips, limiting the won's upside, traders

said.

TAIWAN DOLLAR

The Taiwan dollar jumped 0.7 percent to 29.705 to the

greenback, its strongest since June 7, on inflows from foreign

financial institutions.

Exporters also chased the island's unit when it was weaker

than 29.760, traders said.

But the central bank was spotted buying the U.S. dollar at

29.700 to limit the Taiwan dollar's appreciation, traders added.

The currency has a 200-day moving average at 29.697, and has

been weaker than the average since early May.

RINGGIT

The ringgit rose 0.5 percent to 3.2585 per dollar, its

strongest since Aug. 13 as offshore funds bought, and

government bond yields slipped on buying.

Late on Monday, Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak looked

to sidestep political opponents and temper market jitters by

cutting fuel subsidies to beef up the country's fiscal position,

which had spurred capital outflows.

But the Malaysian currency gave up some of gains with

immediate chart resistance at 3.2600 and on expectations of Fed

tapering.

"I don't think the ringgit will break 3.25 even, unless Fed

tapering is postponed to December," said an Asian bank trader in

Singapore.

CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR

Change on the day at 0505 GMT

Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move

Japan yen 99.43 99.33 -0.10

Sing dlr 1.2723 1.2735 +0.09

Taiwan dlr 29.769 29.900 +0.44

Korean won 1096.15 1100.50 +0.40

Baht 31.99 32.07 +0.23

Peso 44.31 44.42 +0.26

Rupiah 10999.00 10970.00 -0.26

Rupee 66.75 66.00 -1.12

Ringgit 3.2600 3.2740 +0.43

Yuan 6.1204 6.1196 -0.01

Change so far in 2013

Currency Latest bid End prev year Pct Move

Japan yen 99.43 86.79 -12.71

Sing dlr 1.2723 1.2219 -3.96

Taiwan dlr 29.769 29.136 -2.13

Korean won 1096.15 1070.60 -2.33

Baht 31.99 30.61 -4.31

Peso 44.31 41.05 -7.35

Rupiah 10999.00 9630.00 -12.45

Rupee 66.75 54.99 -17.62

Ringgit 3.2600 3.0580 -6.20

Yuan 6.1204 6.2303 +1.80

(Additional reporting by KyoungHo Lee in SEOUL and Roger Tung

in TAIPEI; Editing by Eric Meijer)

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