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EM ASIA FX-Asia FX ease, U.S. budget impasse dents risk appetite

* Asian currencies mostly ease after last week's rally

* But S.Korean won touches 8-1/2 month peak

* Asia FX seen rangebound, focus on U.S. budget impasse

By Masayuki Kitano

SINGAPORE, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Asian currencies mostly eased

on Monday, taking a breather from their recent rally, as a lack

of progress toward resolving a U.S. budget standoff kept

investors' appetite for risky assets in check.

The South Korean won and the Taiwan dollar

bucked the trend and held relatively firm, with the won

hitting an 8-1/2 month high on dollar-selling by offshore

investors.

Speculation that the U.S. government's partial shutdown

could become protracted and lessen the chances of the Federal

Reserve scaling back its monetary stimulus in the near term has

supported Asian currencies over the past few trading sessions.

Market players, however, are also worried that the U.S.

Congress and President Barack Obama may fail to reach a deal on

raising the U.S. government's borrowing cap by an Oct. 17

deadline, which could lead to the risk of a U.S. default and

cause turmoil in financial markets.

Against this backdrop, emerging Asian currencies may see

some range-trading in the near term, said a trader for a

Japanese bank in Singapore.

"Rather than see any sharp move, I think we will see these

kind of back and forth moves," the trader said.

Republican House Speaker John Boehner vowed on Sunday not to

raise the U.S. debt ceiling without a "serious conversation"

about what is driving the debt, while Democrats said it was

irresponsible and reckless to raise the possibility of a U.S.

default.

"Everybody thinks it will probably be resolved, but it's

politics and you can only go by what you see in media reports,"

said Satoshi Okagawa, senior global markets analyst for Sumitomo

Mitsui Banking Corporation in Singapore, referring to the U.S.

debt ceiling.

SOUTH KOREAN WON

Dealers said offshore players were seen selling the dollar

against the won, pushing the South Korean currency higher even

as investors remain wary of dollar-buying intervention.

The won touched a peak of 1068.5, its strongest

level versus the U.S. dollar since late January.

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 0502 GMT

Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move

Japan yen 97.13 97.46 +0.34

Sing dlr 1.2481 1.2467 -0.11

Taiwan dlr 29.375 29.502 +0.43

Korean won 1070.00 1070.30 +0.03

Baht 31.33 31.30 -0.10

Peso 43.11 43.05 -0.14

Rupiah 11530.00 11510.00 -0.17

Rupee 61.81 61.43 -0.61

Ringgit 3.1850 3.1825 -0.08

Yuan 6.1220 6.1220 +0.00

Change so far in 2013

Currency Latest bid End prev year Pct Move

Japan yen 97.13 86.79 -10.65

Sing dlr 1.2481 1.2219 -2.10

Taiwan dlr 29.375 29.136 -0.81

Korean won 1070.00 1070.60 +0.06

Baht 31.33 30.61 -2.30

Peso 43.11 41.05 -4.78

Rupiah 11530.00 9630.00 -16.48

Rupee 61.81 54.99 -11.03

Ringgit 3.1850 3.0580 -3.99

Yuan 6.1220 6.2303 +1.77

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(Additional reporting by Se Young Lee in SEOUL; Editing by Kim

Coghill)