Rupee leads Asia forex gains on solid China data, easing Syria worries

Reuters

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - The Indian rupee led rises among emerging Asian currencies on Tuesday as stronger-than-expected China data fuelled more hopes of a stabilisation in the world's second-largest economy.

China's factory output grew at its fastest pace in 17 months while investment and consumption beat market forecasts, increasing confidence among investors that the economy has halted a slide and is building some momentum.

Regional currencies found further support from easing concerns of a U.S. military strike against Syria, which saw crude oil prices retreat.

The rupee hit a two-week high on expectations of a narrower trade deficit and hopes for more market-friendly measures from the new RBI chief Raghuram Rajan.

The Philippine peso touched its highest in more than three weeks on demand from real money funds after solid July exports data.

The Malaysian ringgit advanced on short-covering against both the U.S. dollar and the Singapore dollar.

Continuous stock inflows and exporter demand lifted the South Korean won to its highest since February 28.

The Taiwan dollar hit a three-month high on foreign financial inflows for domestic equities.

But those currencies gave up some of their initial gains as foreign exchange authorities were spotted intervening to stem gains, traders said.

Meanwhile, the Indonesian rupiah's indicative prices lost nearly 3 percent to its weakest since April 2009 on dollar demand from local companies.

(Reporting by Jongwoo Cheon; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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