(Updates prices. For midday report, double-click
SINGAPORE, Sept 19 (Reuters) - The Indian rupee hit a near
five-week high on Thursday, leading emerging Asian currencies'
gains, after the U.S. Federal Reserve surprised investors by
postponing the start of reductions to its monetary stimulus,
prompting capital inflows to the region.
The Fed said it wanted to wait for more evidence of solid
growth in the world's top economy and Chairman Ben Bernanke
refused to commit to reducing bond purchases this year,
stressing that the programme was "not on a preset course."
The rupee surged as much as 2.8 percent to 61.64
per dollar, its strongest since Aug. 16, as the Fed's decision
is expected to give India's central bank the flexibility to roll
back tightening steps it took to stabilise the currency.
The Malaysian ringgit extended gains to hit a
three-month high on demand from real money funds and hedge
The Indonesian rupiah advanced on capital inflows,
though corporate demand for dollars limited its upside.
The Thai baht rose 2.4 percent to 30.93 per dollar,
its strongest since July 25 on demand from real money accounts
and bond inflows.
The Philippine peso ended local trade at 43.05
per dollar, the highest since July 1 on buying by offshore
The central banks of Thailand and the Philippines said they
would act if necessary to contain movements, and traders said
Thursday's gains by both the baht and the peso were capped by
The South Korean won rose in offshore forwards markets, with
local financial markets closed for holidays. One-month
non-deliverable forwards to the dollar were quoted
at 1,072.9 versus around 1,083 on Wednesday afternoon.
CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
Change on the day at 0844 GMT
Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move
Japan yen 98.77 97.96 -0.82
Sing dlr 1.2444 1.2460 +0.13
*Taiwan dlr 29.722 29.752 +0.10
*Korean won 1070.88 1084.10 +1.23
Baht 30.94 31.68 +2.38
Peso 43.05 43.53 +1.11
Rupiah 11277.00 11460.00 +1.62
Rupee 61.68 63.38 +2.76
Ringgit 3.1520 3.2340 +2.60
*Yuan 6.1212 6.1215 +0.00
Change so far in 2013
Currency Latest bid End prev year Pct Move
Japan yen 98.77 86.79 -12.13
Sing dlr 1.2444 1.2219 -1.81
Taiwan dlr 29.722 29.136 -1.97
Korean won 1070.88 1070.60 -0.03
Baht 30.94 30.61 -1.07
Peso 43.05 41.05 -4.65
Rupiah 11277.00 9630.00 -14.60
Rupee 61.68 54.99 -10.85
Ringgit 3.1520 3.0580 -2.98
Yuan 6.1212 6.2303 +1.78
* Financial markets in China, South Korea and Taiwan are closed
for holidays Thursday and Friday.
(Reporting by Jongwoo Cheon; Editing by Richard Borsuk)