EM ASIA FX-Mixed cues on U.S.-China trade row keep Asian currencies in tight ranges
By Ambar Warrick
June 27 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies moved in tight, guarded ranges on Thursday as mixed signals on the U.S.-China trade front added to investors' jitters ahead of the G20 summit in Japan.
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that while a trade deal with the Chinese President Xi Jinping was possible during the summit, he was prepared to impose tariffs on virtually all remaining Chine imports.
Meanwhile, The South China Morning Post, citing sources, said that Washington and Beijing were laying out an agreement that would help avert the next round of tariffs. The news caused some buying in Asian equities.
On the currency front, the Chinese yuan CNY=CFXS was largely flat in anticipation of the meeting. The People's Bank of China set its daily mid-point at a slightly higher than expected fixing.
Industrial profits in the country rose in May, pointing to some strength in the import-heavy sector. However, analysts were unsure if the modest gains could last.
The Indian rupee INR=IN dropped 0.12% after Trump, on Twitter, cited India's recent tariff hike on U.S. imports as "unacceptable".
Earlier in the month, India had imposed higher retaliatory tariffs on 28 U.S. products after Washington ended its preferential trade treatment for the country.
The Taiwan dollar TWD=TP rose 0.23% to the dollar, driven mainly by inflows to the country's equities .TWII, which gained after three straight sessions of losses.
The Thai baht THB=TH, emerging Asia's best performer this year, inched slightly up against the dollar after the country's central bank held its benchmark interest rate.
The currency appeared to be unperturbed by the bank cutting its 2019 economic growth and exports forecast. The central bank even flagged that the baht's strength may not be in line with economic fundamentals.
With the last trading day of the quarter landing on Friday, Asian currencies will likely see some positioning for the next six months.
CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
Change on the day at 0519 GMT
Change so far in 2019
(Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim Coghill)