EM ASIA FX-Asian currencies broadly weaker as dollar ticks up

    By Hanna Paul
    Aug 7 (Reuters) - Asian currencies were mostly weaker on
Monday as the dollar steadied on signs of a tightening U.S. jobs
market but the jury is out on whether the currency's strength
will last. 
    The greenback held steady against a basket of six currencies
 after rising 0.75 percent on Friday. The dollar climbed
from 15-month lows after data showed nonfarm payrolls and wages
increased in the United States in July.
    The greenback was also buoyed by comments from National
Economic Council director Gary Cohn that the U.S. administration
is working on a tax plan that would bring corporate profits back
to the United States.    
    But the encouraging employment figures and tax plan
prospects failed to add further momentum to the dollar as
concerns turned towards the risk of still-subdued inflation. 
    "While the downside of U.S. dollar might be limited by
nonfarm payrolls in the short term, the fate of the greenback is
still dependent on future inflation evolution," Mizuho Bank said
in a note.
    "Futures-implied probability of a rate hike in December
hovers at around 40 percent, as market awaits inflation releases
(PPI and CPI) this week for more evidence of inflation picking
up," Mizuho Bank said.
    U.S. producer price index numbers for July will be released
on Thursday and the consumer price index figures are due on
    "We see contained downside potential in emerging market
Asian currencies at current stage as there are no signs of
imminent inflationary pressure in the U.S.," Scotiabank said in
a note.
    In Asia, the Philippine peso led the decliners,
falling 0.3 percent after two straight sessions of gains. It was
closely followed by the Korean won which took a hit
as the dollar steadied.
    In other regional currencies, the yen was little
changed. Japan's foreign reserves edged up in July when compared
to the previous month but failed to beat levels hit a year ago,
data from the Ministry of Finance showed.
    Taiwan's foreign exchange reserves on the other hand rose
from a year earlier and against the previous month, lifting the
Taiwan dollar a touch higher.

    The rupiah inched marginally lower after Indonesia's
gross domestic product (GDP) grew 5.01 percent in the quarter,
slightly missing analyst estimates.
     A Reuters poll forecast 5.10 percent annual growth for the
three months ended in June.
    Annual economic growth in Southeast Asia's largest economy
has hovered around 5 percent in every quarter since early-2014,
and many analysts say that pace is not enough to escape the
so-called middle income trap.
    "Finally, government spending has picked up (albeit less
than expected). Upshot being, Q2 GDP will be supported, not
boosted. Nonetheless, growth outlook is constructive," Mizuho
Bank said a note.
    The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar at 0511 GMT.


  Currency                Latest bid  Previous    Pct
                                           day   Move
  Japan yen               110.700       110.67  -0.03
  Sing dlr                1.361         1.3606  -0.01
  Taiwan dlr              30.206        30.220  +0.05
  Korean won              1126.900        1125  -0.17
  Baht                    33.260        33.246  -0.04
  Peso                    50.305         50.16  -0.29
  Rupiah                  13319.000      13315  -0.03
  Rupee                   63.678         63.58  -0.15
  Ringgit                 4.280          4.277  -0.07
  Yuan                    6.724         6.7295  +0.09
  Change so far in 2017                              
  Currency                Latest bid  End 2016    Pct
  Japan yen               110.700       117.07  +5.75
  Sing dlr                1.361         1.4490  +6.49
  Taiwan dlr              30.206        32.279  +6.86
  Korean won              1126.900     1207.70  +7.17
  Baht                    33.260         35.80  +7.64
  Peso                    50.305         49.72  -1.16
  Rupiah                  13319.000      13470  +1.13
  Rupee                   63.678         67.92  +6.66
  Ringgit                 4.280         4.4845  +4.78
  Yuan                    6.724         6.9467  +3.32
 (Reporting by Hanna Paul; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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