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EM ASIA FX-Most units edge up on softer US yields; baht, rupee lead gains

* Gains meagre across units

* Chinese yuan eases against dollar

(Adds text, updates prices)

By Aby Jose Koilparambil

March 11 (Reuters) - Most emerging Asian currencies

strengthened on Monday, helped by softer U.S. Treasury yields

following far weaker U.S. job growth in February than expected.

The U.S. number was 93 percent lower than the January one,

month, amid a contraction of payrolls in construction, among

other sectors.

The lower Treasury yields "are a little bit of a relief for

most EM Asia currencies", said Vishnu Varathan, senior economist

at Mizuho Bank, though he added that the gains "are not


He noted advances by the Thai baht, Korean won

and Philippine peso, given that they were

sliding in the past few sessions.

The baht gained 0.3 percent to 31.670 against the dollar

while the peso put on 0.2 percent to 52.190 per dollar.

The Indian rupee strengthened as much as 0.4

percent to 69.860 against the greenback while the Korean won

tacked on up to 0.3 percent.

The gains for the Indonesian rupiah and the

Malaysian ringgit were smaller.

The Chinese yuan eased against the U.S. dollar

despite the central bank's firmer fixing on Monday. Prior to the

market opening, the People's Bank of China (PBOC) set the

midpoint rate at 6.7202 per dollar, 33 pips or 0.05

percent firmer than the previous fix of 6.7235.

The Taiwan dollar and Singapore dollar were

little changed.

Emerging market currencies across Asia fell on Friday after

poor China February trade data added to global growth worries,

already increased by the European Central Bank's dovish signals.

In the latest weak February data from China, its

factory-gate inflation stayed flat from a month earlier, while

gains in consumer prices slipped to the lowest level in more

than a year as muted price pressures pointed to lacklustre

demand in the world's second-largest economy.

Varathan said the progress of U.S-China trade talks and

direction of both U.S. Treasury yields and the dollar would

remain key factors for emerging markets currencies.

"The dollar is not going to surge outright despite a lift

from the Euro slide," noted Varathan, adding that a softer

dollar level would be a supporting factor for major Asian

currencies in the near term.

The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against

the dollar at 0537 GMT.


Japan yen 111.090 111.15 +0.05

Sing dlr 1.359 1.3588 -0.02

Taiwan dlr 30.905 30.902 -0.01

Korean won 1135.300 1136.2 +0.08

Baht 31.670 31.76 +0.28

Peso 52.190 52.28 +0.17

Rupiah 14285.000 14305 +0.14

Rupee 69.920 70.15 +0.32

Ringgit 4.086 4.089 +0.07

Yuan 6.722 6.7200 -0.03

Change so far in 2019

Currency Latest bid End 2018 Pct Move

Japan yen 111.090 109.56 -1.38

Sing dlr 1.359 1.3627 +0.26

Taiwan dlr 30.905 30.733 -0.56

Korean won 1135.300 1115.70 -1.73

Baht 31.670 32.55 +2.78

Peso 52.190 52.47 +0.54

Rupiah 14285.000 14375 +0.63

Rupee 69.920 69.77 -0.21

Ringgit 4.086 4.1300 +1.08

Yuan 6.722 6.8730 +2.24

(Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; Editing by

Richard Borsuk)