(Adds text, updates prices)
By Patturaja Murugaboopathy
June 13 (Reuters) - Asian currencies edged lower on
Wednesday, ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy decision
on fears that a hawkish tone could affect regional assets and
trigger more capital outflows.
Beside the expected announcement of a quarter-point rate
rise, investors will be looking for clues on the pace of future
rate hikes from the Fed's "dot plot" that could signal whether
most of its policy committee now expect more than three rate
increases this year.
The "dot plot" is policymakers' rate projections and
provides a view into their interest rate outlook.
"Given that, it is the combination of higher Fed rates and
the run down in its balance sheet that is pressuring emerging
markets, an aggressive Fed puts more pressure on Asian
currencies," said Greg McKenna, Chief Market Strategist at
The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies
inched up 0.03 percent to 93.829 after rising 0.25
percent the previous day.
The Indian rupee dropped 0.2 percent on concerns
over price pressures, after data on Tuesday showed retail
inflation accelerating to a four-month high of 4.87 percent in
The Malaysian ringgit also shed 0.15 percent on weak
equities, lower oil prices and foreign outflows. In May,
foreigners sold a net $4.7 billion in Malaysian bond and equity
markets, the biggest amount in more than a year.
The Philippine peso touched its lowest since June
2006 on concerns over the country's high inflation rates.
Inflation picked up further in May, bringing the average
rate in the first five months of the year to 4.1 percent,
outside the central bank's 2-4 percent comfort range.
On Wednesday, the Philippine central bank said it will
consider not just recent inflation data but all potential
drivers of future inflation when it reviews monetary policy next
Investors were also watching out for the European Central
Bank policy meeting on Thursday, in which it could signal
intentions to start unwinding its massive bond purchasing
"We still think ECB may not commit to a decision on exit
prematurely before inflation shows signs of reacceleration but
the narrative out of the debate (hawkish hold) could still be
supportive of EUR," Saktiandi Supaat, head of FX research at
Maybank in Singapore, said in a report.
The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar at 0530 GMT.
CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
Change as of 0530 GMT
Currency Latest Previous Pct
bid day Move
Japan yen 110.620 110.36 -0.24
Sing dlr 1.337 1.3361 -0.04
Taiwan dlr 29.868 29.860 -0.03
Baht 32.100 32.075 -0.08
Peso 52.990 52.95 -0.08
Rupee 67.565 67.48 -0.13
Ringgit 3.994 3.988 -0.15
Yuan 6.403 6.4040 +0.01
*Indonesian and S.Korean markets
are closed for holidays
Change so far in 2018
Currency Latest End 2017 Pct
Japan yen 110.620 112.67 +1.85
Sing dlr 1.337 1.3373 +0.04
Taiwan dlr 29.868 29.848 -0.07
Korean won 1077.20 1070.50 -0.62
Baht 32.100 32.58 +1.50
Peso 52.990 49.93 -5.77
Rupiah 13925.0 13565 -2.59
Rupee 67.565 63.87 -5.47
Ringgit 3.994 4.0440 +1.25
Yuan 6.403 6.5069 +1.62
(Reporting by Patturaja Murugaboopathy in Bengaluru
Editing by Jacqueline Wong)