* 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
"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
"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)
- Taiwan dollar