* Rupee jumps on hopes for Rajan
* Won, Taiwan dollar higher on inflows
* Ringgit, Philippine peso rise on short-covering
(Adds market action, updates prices)
By Jongwoo Cheon
SINGAPORE, Sept 5 (Reuters) - The Indian rupee jumped on
Thursday, leading gains among emerging Asian currencies, as
investors covered short positions in regional units with the
dollar off a six-week high ahead of a U.S. jobs data later this
The rupee rallied as measures announced by the
central bank chief Raghuram Rajan late on Wednesday raised hopes
of a new approach to the current crisis, while the move to start
a discounted swap window for banks also aided.
The South Korean won and the Taiwan dollar
rose on fund inflows. The Philippine peso
and the Malaysian ringgit advanced as investors cut
short-term bearish bets.
However, most emerging Asian currencies, except the rupee,
gave up some of initial gains on sustained expectations that the
Federal Reserve may start scaling back its bond-buying programme
as early as this month.
U.S. automakers reported surprisingly solid August sales on
Wednesday, indicating the world's top economy appears to be
faring better in the third quarter than economists had feared.
The dollar index edged up to 82.218 in Asia trading
from Wednesday's 82.169. That compared with 82.516 hit on
Investors' immediate focus is the U.S. ADP private-sector
job figures due later in the day, which have been seen as an
early glimpse into the more important official employment report
U.S. non-farm payrolls (NFP) were estimated to rise by
180,000 in August with the unemployment rate steady at 7.4
percent, according to a Reuters poll.
The Taiwan dollar rose in heavy trading on inflows from
foreign financial institutions.
But its upside was limited as domestic importers bought U.S.
dollars around 29.700, traders said.
The central bank was suspected of intervening around
29.750, although its dollar purchases were not that big, traders
added. The authority was spotted intervening around that level
on Wednesday, a trader said.
The island's currency has a 200-day moving average at
29.708. The Taiwan dollar has been closing local trade weaker
than the average since May 10.
The peso rose on short-covering but traders hesitated to
take bullish positions on the Philippines currency, held back by
sustained caution ahead of U.S. jobs data.
Manila shares also shed 0.6 percent, underperforming
most regional equity markets.
Traders looked to buy dollar around its session low of 44.21
to the peso.
"I prefer long (dollar positions) to square," said a foreign
bank trader in Manila, for a target of 44.75 and 45.20.
"I am expecting NFP (nonfarm payrolls) to be strong since
the last data was lower than expected, despite the good numbers
from manufacturing. So I am expecting NFP to play catch-up," the
The ringgit edged higher as investors cut short-term bearish
positions when regional currencies gained. But offshore funds
sold the Malaysian currency on rallies, prompting interbank
speculators to reduce bullish bets, traders said.
Meanwhile, Malaysia's central bank is expected to keep its
key interest rate unchanged at 3.00 percent at a policy meeting
later in the day, a Reuters poll showed.
The won rose as much as 0.5 percent to 1,089.3 per dollar,
its strongest since May 9, as foreign investors extended their
buying of shares.
The government also priced its 10-year dollar-denominated
government bonds overnight and reported healthy demand for the
debt, supporting views that the country's strong economic
fundamentals will likely prevent any exodus of foreign capital
when the Fed starts tapering its stimulus.
But the South Korean currency gave up some of initial gains
as investors cut long positions on sustained caution over
possible intervention by the foreign exchange authorities.
"The won's upside is limited as investors appeared to hold
long positions," said a South Korean bank trader in Seoul.
CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
Change on the day at 0430 GMT
Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move
Japan yen 99.68 99.75 +0.07
Sing dlr 1.2753 1.2747 -0.05
Taiwan dlr 29.755 29.885 +0.44
Korean won 1092.10 1094.50 +0.22
Baht 32.16 32.20 +0.12
Peso 44.32 44.43 +0.24
Rupiah 11100.00 11100.00 +0.00
Rupee 65.86 67.07 +1.83
Ringgit 3.2770 3.2845 +0.23
Yuan 6.1192 6.1201 +0.01
Change so far in 2013
Currency Latest bid End prev year Pct Move
Japan yen 99.68 86.79 -12.93
Sing dlr 1.2753 1.2219 -4.19
Taiwan dlr 29.755 29.136 -2.08
Korean won 1092.10 1070.60 -1.97
Baht 32.16 30.61 -4.82
Peso 44.32 41.05 -7.38
Rupiah 11100.00 9630.00 -13.24
Rupee 65.86 54.99 -16.50
Ringgit 3.2770 3.0580 -6.68
Yuan 6.1192 6.2303 +1.82
(Additional reporting by Jeanny Kao in TAIPEI, Yena Park in
SEOUL and IFR Markets' Catherine Tan; Editing by Eric Meijer)