EM ASIA FX-Most Asia currencies firm on upbeat regional economic data

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Anusha Ravindranath
    Aug 1 (Reuters) - Most emerging Asian currencies
strengthened on Tuesday, in line with broad weakness in the
dollar and as upbeat economic data in the region boosted
    Before the dollar edged up from 2-1/2-year lows against the
euro on Tuesday, it had been under pressure from month-end
portfolio adjustments and on expectations the European Central
Bank was on track to tighten monetary policy. 
    The greenback has struggled as weak U.S. inflation readings
have dampened expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise
interest rates once more this year, pushing the currency to
multi-year lows on Monday.
    "I would say that Asia FX performance this morning is being
driven by the weakness in broad USD and buoyant regional equity
markets," said Dushyant Padmanabhan, an FX strategist at Nomura.
    "Furthermore, we have seen a sharp drop in dollar/yen this
morning, which is a further support for some currencies in the
    "On the data front – regional data from Korea and China were
better than expected this morning; while the EU inflation data
percolates into Asia FX performance via a weaker broad USD," he
    In Asia, the Chinese yuan appreciated for a
fourth session and hit its highest in more than nine months.
     A private survey on Tuesday showed that growth in China's
manufacturing sector picked up in July, as output and new orders
rose at the fastest pace since February on strong export sales.

     Meanwhile, robust exports data from South Korea drove the
won higher. It gained as much as 0.3 percent against
the dollar.
    South Korea's exports in July marked their longest stretch
of expansion in five and a half years, led by shipments of
memory chips and electronic storage devices.
    The Thai baht touched its highest in more than two
years, before paring gains to edge lower. 
    The Philippine peso rose to its highest in a
month on Tuesday.
    "I think aside from the broader dollar weakness, we're
seeing now a long-awaited correction in dollar/peso," said Jason
Manalac, a trader at Philippine Bank of Communications.
    A Reuters poll in July revealed that investors increased
bearish positions in the peso to their largest since November.

    The Philippine government posted a budget deficit of 154.5
billion pesos ($3.05 billion) in the first half of the year,
exceeding the ceiling for the period. [nL3N1KF1DQ
     "This account deficit we're seeing should be peso negative
for the forseeable future," Manalac  said. 
The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against the
dollar at 0426 GMT.
  Change at   0426 GMT                           
  Currency                Latest  Previous    Pct
                             bid       day   Move
  Japan yen              110.200    110.25  +0.05
  Sing dlr               1.356      1.3545  -0.09
  Taiwan dlr             30.187     30.227  +0.13
  Korean won             1118.00      1119  +0.09
  Baht                   33.304     33.269  -0.11
  Peso                   50.420      50.46  +0.08
  Rupiah                 13317.0     13324  +0.05
  Rupee                  64.135      64.18  +0.07
  Ringgit                4.276        4.28  +0.09
  Yuan                   6.719      6.7290  +0.15
  Change so far in 2017                          
  Currency               Latest   End 2016    Pct
                         bid                 Move
  Japan yen              110.200    117.07  +6.23
  Sing dlr               1.356      1.4490  +6.88
  Taiwan dlr             30.187     32.279  +6.93
  Korean won             1118.00   1207.70  +8.02
  Baht                   33.304      35.80  +7.49
  Peso                   50.420      49.72  -1.39
  Rupiah                 13317.0     13470  +1.15
  Rupee                  64.135      67.92  +5.90
  Ringgit                4.276      4.4845  +4.88
  Yuan                   6.719      6.9467  +3.40

 (Reporting by Anusha Ravindranath in Bengaluru; Editing by
Jacqueline Wong)

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