(Adds text, updates prices)
By Devika Syamnath
Aug 8 (Reuters) - Stronger-than-expected readings on China's
exports and foreign exchange reserves boosted the yuan and most
other Asian emerging currencies on Wednesday, even as the United
States said tariffs on more Chinese goods will go into effect
"Better than expected Chinese reserves have helped to
stabilize RMB sentiment, which is in turn supporting Asian
currencies as well," said Wei Liang Chang, an FX strategist at
The offshore yuan strengthened slightly to an over 1 week
China reported on Wednesday that July exports rose more than
expected, suggesting fresh U.S. tariffs imposed last month have
not yet had a significant impact on global demand for its
"Relatively strong Chinese trade data today suggest that any
Chinese slowdown from trade tensions has been modest, which
further underpin a small gain in the yuan today," Chang added.
Further bolstering sentiment, data on Tuesday showed China's
foreign exchange reserves unexpectedly rose in July to $3.118
trillion, with few hints of capital flight that some investors
have feared after a sharp drop in the yuan currency in recent
weeks due to escalating trade tensions.
The People's Bank of China set the midpoint of the yuan's
daily trading band at 6.8313 per dollar, 118 pips
firmer than the previous fixing of 6.8431.
The Thai baht advanced 0.1 percent ahead of the
central bank's interest rate decision due later in the day, with
the bank expected to stay on hold as inflation remains mild.
Korean won and Singapore's dollar
strengthened 0.5 percent and 0.1 percent, respectively.
The Philippine peso bucked the regional trend and
weakened 0.1 percent against the greenback despite expectations
of more policy tightening in Manila this week.
"A significant deterioration in the Philippines trade
balance on the back of a surge in imports, which has weighed on
the PHP despite expectations of a BSP rate hike tomorrow," said
Philippine imports in June grew at the fastest pace this
year while exports dipped, government data showed.
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Nestor Espenilla
on Tuesday signalled a further uptick in inflation required a
policy response, leading some analysts to believe policymakers
would deliver as much as a 50-basis-points rate hike on
India's rupee firmed 0.1 percent on the day but
stays the worst performing Asian currency this year, having
declined about 7 percent to date.
India's central bank will need to gradually tighten monetary
policy further due to rising inflation, mainly driven by higher
oil prices and a falling rupee, the International Monetary Fund
said on Wednesday.
It said inflationary pressures were also exerted by a pick
up in domestic demand and recent hike in procurement prices of
major crops by the government, as it seeks to win support from
farmers ahead of national elections next year.
The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar at 0536 GMT.
CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move
Japan yen 111.250 111.37 +0.11
Sing dlr 1.364 1.3642 +0.05
Taiwan dlr 30.607 30.621 +0.05
Korean won 1117.800 1123.8 +0.54
Baht 33.185 33.23 +0.14
Peso 52.920 52.85 -0.13
Rupiah 14430.000 14435 +0.03
Rupee 68.645 68.68 +0.05
Ringgit 4.073 4.074 +0.02
Yuan 6.825 6.8278 +0.04
Change so far in 2018
Currency Latest bid End 2017 Pct Move
Japan yen 111.250 112.67 +1.28
Sing dlr 1.364 1.3373 -1.92
Taiwan dlr 30.607 29.848 -2.48
Korean won 1117.800 1070.50 -4.23
Baht 33.185 32.58 -1.82
Peso 52.920 49.977 -5.56
Rupiah 14430.000 13565 -5.99
Rupee 68.645 63.87 -6.96
Ringgit 4.073 4.0440 -0.71
Yuan 6.825 6.5069 -4.66
(Reporting by Devika Syamnath in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim