By Shreya Mariam Job
(Reuters) - Most Asian currencies firmed on Thursday, as a volatile dollar weakened broadly on mixed signals over the state of trade talks between Washington and Beijing.
Dampened sentiment following suggestions that the Chinese delegation might cut the ministerial-level talks short and leave Washington on Thursday were offset by a Bloomberg report that the United States is weighing a currency pact with China as part of a partial deal.
Traders also took note of a New York Times report that Washington will issue licenses allowing some U.S. companies to supply non-sensitive goods to China's Huawei, as the dollar eased against a basket of major currencies <.DXY>. [FRX/]
"News of Huawei and the currency pact released together with the strong (yuan) fix, underscores the fact that PBoC (People's Bank Of China) is (ready) ...to give a strong guidance for the CNY as a potential pact with the U.S. could be at hand," a Maybank note said.
U.S. Federal Reserve meeting minutes released on Wednesday were largely in line with expectations and had little market impact.
The yuan <CNY=CFXS> strengthened 0.3% and the Singapore dollar <SGD=> firmed 0.2%.
The Philippine peso <PHP=> firmed marginally. Data showed that August exports rose 0.6%, while imports slumped 11.8%, narrowing the country's August deficit.
Taiwan financial markets were closed for a holiday.
The Korean won <KRW=KFTC> bucked the trend to slip 0.3% ahead of talks with Japan on Friday over tighter export controls from Tokyo. The talks are part of a dispute settlement process through the World Trade Organisation.
The won is the worst performer among Asian currencies this year.
The prolonged Sino-U.S. trade conflict and the dispute with Japan has dealt a huge blow to South Korea's trade-reliant economy. In September, exports slumped 11.7%, shrinking for the 10th consecutive month.
(Reporting by Shreya Mariam Job in Bengaluru; editing by John Stonestreet)