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EM ASIA FX-Most Asian currencies slip as Trump impeachment inquiry adds to global woes

By Shreya Mariam Job

* Thai cenbank rate decision due today * Philippine cbank rate decision on Thursday * Korean won declines most (Adds text, updates prices) By Shreya Mariam Job Sept 25 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies edged lower on Wednesday as investors, already frazzled by global trade and recession worries, faced new risks from the launch of a formal impeachment inquiry into U.S. President Donald Trump. Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday launched the inquiry, accusing Trump of seeking foreign help to smear Democratic rival Joe Biden ahead of next year's election. The political uncertainty put the greenback on the defensive and further dented investor sentiment already shaken by the protracted Sino-U.S. trade dispute, Brexit unease and global growth worries. And at the United Nations on Tuesday, harsh comments by Trump on China's trade practices only served to reinforce fears the U.S.-China trade war will drag on for a while longer. Khoon Goh, head of Asia research at ANZ Banking Group (Singapore), said the impeachment move had dampened the mood. "The fall in the equity markets (Asian) was offset by the dollar weakness, which is why Asian currencies have largely traded muted so far," he added. Goh sees no big swings in regional currencies over the next couple of days on bets the yuan will remain steady going into a week-long national holiday next week. On the events front in Asia, investors awaited central bank decisions from Thailand later in the day and Philippines on Thursday. The Thai baht weakened marginally ahead of the policy review, with economists expecting the benchmark interest rate to be held steady. The Philippine peso was steady. A Reuters poll forecast the nation's central bank will likely cut interest rates for the third time this year. S.KOREAN WON The South Korean won weakened the most among regional currencies, losing as much as 0.3% against the dollar. The protracted Sino-U.S. trade war and a dispute between South Korea and Japan have undermined the currency, with dismal export data from earlier this week adding to the downward pressure. The won is the worst performer among its Asian peers this year, slumping just over 7.0% so far. The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against the dollar at 0623 GMT. CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR Change on the day at 0623 GMT Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move Japan yen 107.320 107.05 -0.25 Sing dlr 1.377 1.3754 -0.09 Taiwan dlr 31.014 31.013 -0.00 Korean won 1198.600 1195.7 -0.24 Baht 30.590 30.55 -0.13 Peso 52.250 52.24 -0.02 Rupiah 14135.000 14110 -0.18 Rupee 71.050 71.01 -0.06 Ringgit 4.186 4.18 -0.14 Yuan 7.116 7.1160 +0.01 Change so far in 2019 Currency Latest bid End 2018 Pct Move Japan yen 107.320 109.56 +2.09 Sing dlr 1.377 1.3627 -1.02 Taiwan dlr 31.014 30.733 -0.91 Korean won 1198.600 1115.70 -6.92 Baht 30.590 32.55 +6.41 Peso 52.250 52.47 +0.42 Rupiah 14135.000 14375 +1.70 Rupee 71.050 69.77 -1.80 Ringgit 4.186 4.1300 -1.34 Yuan 7.116 6.8730 -3.41 (Reporting by Shreya Mariam Job in Bengaluru Editing by Shri Navaratnam)