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