Singapore markets closed

EM ASIA FX-Asian currencies struggle amid fresh worries on US-China trade dispute

By Aby Jose Koilparambil

* S Korean won marks biggest intraday pct drop in nearly 3 weeks * Taiwanese dollar gains on expected strong GDP figures * Focus shifts to Wednesday's Fed meeting outcome (Adds text, updates prices) By Aby Jose Koilparambil Oct 30 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies weakened on Wednesday on worries that the sealing of a first-phase trade deal between the United States and China could be delayed. The optimism around a partial resolution to the festering trade dispute faded a bit after a U.S. administration official told Reuters that an interim agreement might not be completed in time for signing in Chile next month as expected. The trade dispute and the chance for at least a partial resolution continues to be a key factor in currency markets. Asian financial markets also tread water as the focus shifted to the U.S. Federal Reserve decision later on Wednesday. The market has priced in 25 basis points U.S. rate cut. "Fed is likely to maintain some degree of optionality with regard to future policy guidance, without over-committing," Maybank analysts said in a note. "It (Fed) could possibly go a step further to signal that the mid-cycle adjustment has ended, akin to hawkish cut." Investors will also await U.S. third-quarter GDP figures, due on Wednesday ahead of the Fed decision. Any weakness in the data could increase worries on global growth. The South Korean won, which gained about 1% on Monday and Tuesday combined, slid as much as 0.6%, its biggest percentage intraday drop in nearly three weeks. The Indian rupee, which had a solid advance in the previous session, slipped as much as 0.3% on the day. The Indonesian rupiah, the Malaysian ringgit and the Thai baht weakened slightly, while the Singapore dollar and the Philippine peso barely moved. The Chinese yuan inched up marginally after trading flat in the first two sessions of the week as investors mark time ahead of the Fed decision. The Taiwanese dollar appreciated 0.13%. A Reuters poll showed economists expect the island's third-quarter GDP growth rate - due on Thursday -- to be 2.5%, barely changed from April-June's pace. CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR Change on the day at 0626 GMT Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move Japan yen 108.820 108.87 +0.05 Sing dlr 1.362 1.3621 +0.01 Taiwan dlr 30.482 30.522 +0.13 Korean won 1167.700 1163 -0.40 Baht 30.220 30.21 -0.03 Peso 51.035 51.03 -0.01 Rupiah 14038.000 14020 -0.13 Rupee 70.983 70.84 -0.20 Ringgit 4.183 4.181 -0.05 Yuan 7.062 7.0656 +0.05 Change so far in 2019 Currency Latest bid End 2018 Pct Move Japan yen 108.820 109.56 +0.68 Sing dlr 1.362 1.3627 +0.05 Taiwan dlr 30.482 30.733 +0.82 Korean won 1167.700 1115.70 -4.45 Baht 30.220 32.55 +7.71 Peso 51.035 52.47 +2.81 Rupiah 14038.000 14375 +2.40 Rupee 70.983 69.77 -1.71 Ringgit 4.183 4.1300 -1.27 Yuan 7.062 6.8730 -2.67 (Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Borsuk)