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EM ASIA FX-Most Asian currencies track yuan higher on upbeat China exports, FX reserves

(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

within weeks.

"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

Mizuho Bank.

The offshore yuan strengthened slightly to an over 1 week

high.

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

goods.

"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

Chang.

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

Thursday.

Indian rupee

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

Coghill)