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EM ASIA FX-Most Asian currencies rise as dollar weakens ahead of jobs data

(Adds text, updates prices)

By Patturaja Murugaboopathy

Dec 7 (Reuters) - Asian currencies clawed back some of their

losses against the dollar on Friday after three straight days of

decline, as lower bond yields and speculation that the pace of

U.S. monetary tightening will slow next year softened the

greenback.

The Indian rupee and the Indonesian rupiah

led the regional gains, adding about half a percent against the

dollar on Friday. Both currencies were also supported by a

decline in crude prices as India and Indonesia are major oil

importing countries.

The Federal Reserve is this month expected to raise interest

rates for the fourth time in 2018, but investors have rapidly

pared back their expectations for additional rate hikes next

year. Investors now await November U.S. employment data due

later on Friday for clues to how the world's top economy is

faring.

However, despite the dollar's softness, analysts are still

cautious on Asian currencies in the short-term.

"In this midst of a more dovish Fed, AXJ currencies should

have more room for respite against the dollar," said Leong Sook

Mei, ASEAN head of global markets research at MUFG Bank. "But

these gains are likely superficial at best in the short term

given greater U.S. equity market volatility, U.S. Treasury yield

curve inversion concerns, and higher oil prices."

The dollar index, which measures the greenback

against a basket of six major peers, was little changed at

96.802. The index shed 0.3 percent during the previous session,

closing at a one-week low and was down 0.9 percent from a

17-month peak hit on Nov. 12.

The South Korean won rose 0.3 percent after

falling over 1 percent over the past two days, while the Thai

baht also gained 0.2 percent on the day.

China's yuan firmed as market sentiment recovered

from fears that the arrest of senior Huawei executive could

spark a re-escalation in the U.S.-China trade war.

A recent Reuters poll showed China's yuan will breach the 7

per dollar level within the next six months, and also predicted

authorities would continue to exert control over the currency in

2019.

INDONESIAN RUPIAH

The Indonesian rupiah rose 0.4 percent against the dollar on

Friday, helped by a surge in local stock markets.

The rupiah has lost over 1 percent this week and was set for

its biggest weekly decline in over two months.

Foreigners have sold about $76 million worth of Indonesian

equities over the last two days, exchange data showed.

On Thursday, Indonesia's central bank intervened in the

domestic non-deliverable forward (NDF) market to support the

rupiah.

"(Intervention in NDF markets) will help delay, but not

eliminate the demand for dollars,” said Frances Cheung, head of

macro strategy at Westpac

The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against

the dollar at 0555 GMT.

CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR

Change as of 0555

GMT

Currency Latest Previous Pct

bid day Move

Japan yen 112.900 112.66 -0.21

Sing dlr 1.369 1.3692 +0.01

Taiwan dlr 30.829 30.857 +0.09

Korean won 1117.90 1120.3 +0.21

0

Baht 32.810 32.83 +0.06

Peso 52.679 52.76 +0.15

Rupiah 14465.0 14515 +0.35

00

Rupee 70.588 70.90 +0.44

Ringgit 4.160 4.162 +0.05

Yuan 6.877 6.8820 +0.08

Change so far in

2018

Currency Latest End 2017 Pct

bid Move

Japan yen 112.900 112.67 -0.20

Sing dlr 1.369 1.3373 -2.32

Taiwan dlr 30.829 29.848 -3.18

Korean won 1117.90 1070.50 -4.24

0

Baht 32.810 32.58 -0.70

Peso 52.679 49.93 -5.22

Rupiah 14465.0 13565 -6.22

00

Rupee 70.588 63.87 -9.52

Ringgit 4.160 4.0440 -2.79

Yuan 6.877 6.5069 -5.37

(Reporting by Patturaja Murugaboopathy in Bengaluru; Additional

Reporting by Vatsal Srivastava in Singapore; Editing by Sam

Holmes)