EM ASIA FX-Asian currencies in tight ranges as investors await cenbank, trade clues

By Ambar Warrick

* S. Korean won leads intraday gains * FX likely rangebound for week- DBS * Baht unaffected by weak GDP data (Adds text, updates prices) By Ambar Warrick Nov 18 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies traded in tight ranges on Monday as investors awaited clues on monetary policy from some of the world's major central banks and sought clarity on Sino-U.S. trade talks. Minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve's October meeting are expected on Wednesday, while markets also await the first major speech by European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde on Friday. With the trade war clouding the global economic outlook, investors will be closely watching the two events for clues on possible central banks policy responses. "Markets are on the prowl for good news but exchange rates are likely to remain range-bound in the quiet week ahead," DBS said in a note to clients. The South Korean won led gains among its peers and rose about 0.2% to the dollar, as Seoul and Washington agreed to postpone military drills to bolster peace in the peninsula with North Korea. Other Asian currencies, most of which fell last week amid uncertainty over trade talks, posted modest moves. The Indian rupee rose 0.13% to the dollar, having lost substantially over the past two weeks amid doubts over sustainable economic growth. The Chinese yuan softened 0.08% to the dollar, following a marginally stronger central bank mid-point fixing. The Thai baht was largely unchanged after data showed that Thailand's third-quarter GDP slowed as expected. The country's central bank also lowered its 2019 growth estimate due to a manufacturing slowdown and an export decline due to a robust baht, which is Asia's best performing currency this year. The Singapore dollar traded flat after the country's key exports shrank for an eighth straight month in October. The island state's export-reliant economy has been hit particularly hard by the tariff exchange between the United States and China. "This morning’s weaker-than-expected Singapore non-oil domestic exports in October was a reminder that the global recovery ahead is still challenging," DBS said. The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against the dollar on Monday. CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR Change on the day at 0537 GMT Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move Japan yen 108.810 108.73 -0.07 Sing dlr 1.361 1.3599 -0.04 Taiwan dlr 30.493 30.538 +0.15 Korean won 1164.300 1166.6 +0.20 Baht 30.230 30.2225 -0.02 Peso 50.600 50.56 -0.08 Rupiah 14065.000 14068 +0.02 Rupee 71.685 71.78 +0.13 Ringgit 4.152 4.1515 -0.01 Yuan 7.013 7.0072 -0.08 Change so far in 2019 Currency Latest bid End 2018 Pct Move Japan yen 108.810 109.56 +0.69 Sing dlr 1.361 1.3627 +0.16 Taiwan dlr 30.493 30.733 +0.79 Korean won 1164.300 1115.70 -4.17 Baht 30.230 32.55 +7.67 Peso 50.600 52.47 +3.70 Rupiah 14065.000 14375 +2.20 Rupee 71.685 69.77 -2.67 Ringgit 4.152 4.1300 -0.53 Yuan 7.013 6.8730 -2.00 (Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Sam Holmes)