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EM ASIA FX-Asian currencies hesitate on trade deal uncertainty

By Shriya Ramakrishnan

* Singapore dollar weakens * Thailand Oct MPI falls * China's Oct industrial profits dips 9.9% y/y (Adds text, updates prices) By Shriya Ramakrishnan Nov 27 (Reuters) - Emerging Asian currencies traded in tight ranges against the dollar on Wednesday, as investors were reluctant to make big bets on the outcome of U.S.-China trade talks. U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday said Washington was in the "final throes" of work on a deal that would defuse a 16-month trade war with Beijing, but reiterated U.S. support for anti-government protesters in Hong Kong, a huge sore point with China. "..the bigger risk is an augmented form of "bait and switch" with regards to U.S.-China trade conflict, where investors seduced by a rapidly progressing 'Phase-1' trade deal are blind-sided by the escalating tech tensions between U.S. and China," analysts at Miuzho Bank said in a note. China' yuan was marginally higher, but gains were capped by weak industrial profit readings, suggesting business conditions in the world's second-largest economy are continuing to deteriorate amid weak domestic demand and U.S. tariff pressure. Despite signs of progress from both sides on a trade deal, markets have been on edge amid a lack of concrete details on talks and clarity on other sticking points such as a rollback of existing tariffs imposed by U.S. - sought by Beijing as part of the deal. The Indonesian rupiah edged lower, while the Singapore dollar weakened 0.2%. Indonesia's Vice Finance Minister on Wednesday said GDP growth for Southeast Asia's largest economy is now seen at 5.05%, compared to its previous estimate of 5.08%. The Philippine peso depreciated as much as 0.2%, before erasing some losses, while the Indian rupee strengthened 0.11%. THAI BAHT The Thai baht, emerging Asia's top performing currency so far this year, weakened slightly against the dollar on the day. On Tuesday, the Thai government rolled out stimulus measures to inject more than 100 billion baht ($3.31 billion) into the economy, whose exports have come under pressure to global trade tensions and a strong baht. "THB remains firm despite some sell off by foreign investors in bonds and equities in reaction to the announcement of fiscal stimulus program," Mahesh Sethuraman, Deputy Head of Global Sales Trading at Saxo Capital Markets said. "The healthy current account balance will continue to keep THB relatively stronger even if we see some pullback against USD. If we look at the 5 year chart, the thai baht is trading very close to a 5-year low….so this is just noise." Thailand's manufacturing production index in October fell 8.45% from a year earlier, dragged down by lower production of cars, petroleum and steel, the industry ministry said on Wednesday. CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR Change on the day at 0531 GMT Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move Japan yen 109.130 109.03 -0.09 Sing dlr 1.366 1.3639 -0.16 Taiwan dlr 30.504 30.512 +0.03 Korean won 1176.600 1176.7 +0.01 Baht 30.226 30.19 -0.12 Peso 50.890 50.83 -0.12 Rupiah 14090.000 14080 -0.07 Rupee 71.408 71.48 +0.11 Ringgit 4.180 4.181 +0.02 Yuan 7.030 7.0322 +0.03 Change so far in 2019 Currency Latest bid End 2018 Pct Move Japan yen 109.130 109.56 +0.39 Sing dlr 1.366 1.3627 -0.25 Taiwan dlr 30.504 30.733 +0.75 Korean won 1176.600 1115.70 -5.18 Baht 30.226 32.55 +7.69 Peso 50.890 52.47 +3.10 Rupiah 14090.000 14375 +2.02 Rupee 71.408 69.77 -2.29 Ringgit 4.180 4.1300 -1.20 Yuan 7.030 6.8730 -2.23 ($1 = 30.1900 baht) (Reporting by Shriya Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim Coghill)