EM ASIA-Won, Taiwan dlr hit 8-mth highs; Asia FX up on week

Reuters

* Won, Taiwan dollar hit highest vs dlr since late Jan

* Most Asian currencies on track for weekly gains

* U.S. dollar hampered by U.S. government shutdown

By Masayuki Kitano

SINGAPORE, Oct 4 (Reuters) - The South Korean won and Taiwan

dollar touched eight-month highs on Friday and most Asian

currencies were on track for weekly gains as the U.S. dollar was

pulled down by the budget impasse in Washington.

Emerging Asian currencies were also mostly firmer on the

day, with the Malaysian ringgit getting a boost from

data showing a larger-than-expected trade surplus in August.

The South Korean won touched a high of 1,070.2,

its strongest level since late January, prompting suspected

dollar-buying intervention by South Korean authorities to stem

the won's rise, currency dealers said.

The Taiwan dollar also rose to an eight-month high of around

29.290, with dealers citing inflows of foreign money

into the Taiwan dollar.

Taiwanese authorities were also spotted in the market as

their currency rose, with dealers saying Taiwan's central bank

bought the U.S. dollar at around 29.300.

At their current levels, most Asian currencies were on track

for weekly gains, with the U.S. government's partial shutdown

having triggered broad dollar-selling.

Market players said the dollar's weakness would probably

continue in the near term, as long as the budget impasse in

Washington persists.

"I think the chances are low that there will be a compromise

next week that leads to buy backs of the dollar," said Satoshi

Okagawa, senior global markets analyst for Sumitomo Mitsui

Banking Corporation in Singapore.

The shutdown of the U.S. government appeared likely to drag

on for another week and possibly longer as lawmakers consumed

day three of the shutdown with a stalling game.

There was no end in sight until the next crisis hits

Washington around Oct. 17, the date Congress must raise the

nation's borrowing authority or risk default.

Speculation that the shutdown could become protracted and

lessen the chances of the Federal Reserve tapering its

bond-buying stimulus in the near term has helped support Asian

currencies versus the dollar in recent sessions.

SOUTH KOREAN WON

Currency dealers said South Korean authorities likely bought

$300 million to $400 million early on Friday to curb the won's

rise.

"The dollar-won rate's decline accelerated following the

market open on dollar-selling from offshore," a dealer at a

foreign bank said. "It appears that local authorities intervened

by buying dollars in response."

CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR

*Chinese markets are closed from Oct. 1 through Oct. 7 for

the National Day holiday.

Change on the day at 0541 GMT

Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move

Japan yen 97.08 97.27 +0.19

Sing dlr 1.2468 1.2493 +0.20

Taiwan dlr 29.350 29.532 +0.62

Korean won 1071.10 1074.00 +0.27

Baht 31.27 31.26 -0.03

Peso 43.17 43.08 -0.21

Rupiah 11525.00 11525.00 +0.00

Rupee 61.45 61.74 +0.46

Ringgit 3.1850 3.1955 +0.33

Yuan 6.1220 6.1220 +0.00

Change so far in 2013

Currency Latest bid End prev year Pct Move

Japan yen 97.08 86.79 -10.60

Sing dlr 1.2468 1.2219 -2.00

Taiwan dlr 29.350 29.136 -0.73

Korean won 1071.10 1070.60 -0.05

Baht 31.27 30.61 -2.11

Peso 43.17 41.05 -4.91

Rupiah 11525.00 9630.00 -16.44

Rupee 61.45 54.99 -10.51

Ringgit 3.1850 3.0580 -3.99

Yuan 6.1220 6.2303 +1.77

------------------------------------------------

(Additional reporting by Yena Park in SEOUL, Emily Chan in

TAIPEI; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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