EM ASIA FX-Asian currencies rise; S.Korean won leads gains, yuan edges up

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Susan Mathew
    Aug 14 (Reuters) - Asian currencies were higher on Monday,
led by the South Korean won as traders in Seoul felt that the
weekend did not bring any increase in the tensions between the
United States and North Korea.
    "Risk sentiment is a notch higher today and helping Asian
currencies," said Sean Yokota, head of Asia Strategy at SEB,
citing the U.S.-China talks.
    In a Saturday call with U.S. President Donald Trump, China's
President Xi Jinping advised all sides to avoid words or action
that raise tensions after Trump warned North Korea that the U.S.
military was "locked and loaded." Trump has urged China to apply
more pressure on North Korea.
     The U.S. dollar edged marginally higher on Monday, moving
away from lows hit on Friday after weak U.S. inflation data on
Friday dampened possibility of another interest rate hike this
    The dollar index that measures the greenback against
six major rivals was up 0.1 percent at 0531 GMT.
    The South Korean won, battered last week by
heightened political tensions on the Korean peninsula, rose 0.4
percent On Friday, it skidded to its lowest level since July 12.
    The Malaysian ringgit and the Philippine peso
 were steady ahead of economic growth data for the two
countries due this week.
    The Philippine central bank had tried to calm investors
after the peso hit 11-year lows on Friday, attributing the fall
to a reaction to political tensions overseas. The country's
economic fundamentals are strong, President Rodrigo Duterte's
spokesman said on Monday.
    Thai markets were shut for a holiday.

    The Chinese yuan rose 0.05 percent, shrugging off
weaker-than-expected July economic data.
    Growth in China's output slowed more than expected while
investment and retail sales also disappointed, suggesting that
the world's second-largest economy is starting to lose some
steam as lending costs rise and the property market cools.

    Economists do not expect a hard landing, as the government
seeks to ensure stability ahead of a Communist Party leadership
reshuffle in the autumn. 
    "I think the softer China data is in line with what you saw
in exports that manufacturing is weakening and that is the trend
you'll see into year end," SEB's Yokota added.
    Data last week showed that July exports were weaker than
   "Right now the driver is more geo-political risk and not
economic fundamentals in Asia," Yokota said.
    The Indian rupee snapped three days of losses, up
0.2 percent, ahead of core inflation data due later in the day.
    The consumer price index likely rose 1.87
percent in July, after dipping to a historic low of 1.54 percent
in June, well below the central bank's 4 percent medium-term
target, a Reuters poll showed.
    A rebound in July's inflation would lower the scope of
further rate easing, DBS said in a note. 

 Change on the day at 0531 GMT                       
 Currency                  Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
 Japan yen                 109.520     109.15        -0.34
 Sing dlr                  1.361       1.3604        -0.03
 Taiwan dlr                30.319      30.358        +0.13
 Korean won                1139.000    1143.5        +0.40
 Peso                      50.975      50.98         +0.01
 Rupiah                    13350.000   13355         +0.04
 Rupee                     64.018      64.13         +0.18
 Ringgit                   4.290       4.2935        +0.08
 Yuan                      6.662       6.6666        +0.07
 Change so far                                       
 Currency                  Latest bid  End 2016      Pct Move
 Japan yen                 109.520     117.07        +6.89
 Sing dlr                  1.361       1.4490        +6.48
 Taiwan dlr                30.319      32.279        +6.46
 Korean won                1139.000    1207.70       +6.03
 Peso                      50.975      49.72         -2.46
 Rupiah                    13350.000   13470         +0.90
 Rupee                     64.018      67.92         +6.10
 Ringgit                   4.290       4.4845        +4.53
 Yuan                      6.662       6.9467        +4.27
 (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Lisa
Twaronite and Richard Borsuk)

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