EM ASIA FX-Most currencies depreciate; Sino-U.S. trade spat, Argentine peso crash hits risk sentiment

By Aby Jose Koilparambil

* Indian rupee leads losses * Rupee slips to over 5-month low * Indonesian rupiah, S Korean won fall up to 0.3% * (Adds detail on markets, comment, updates prices) By Aby Jose Koilparambil Aug 13 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies weakened on Tuesday, as the prolonged Sino-U.S. trade dispute and a free fall of the Argentine peso weighed on investors' risk appetite, while Singapore cutting its full-year growth forecast added more pressure in the region. Signals of a drawn out tussle between the U.S. and China have kept global markets on edge and the lack of any progress in resolving their differences is a major worry for many Asian economies, which count Beijing as a top trade partner. The prospects of a more aggressive approach by China to tackle the simmering protests in Hong Kong has also triggered a wave of risk aversion across global markets. In Argentina, the local peso weakened more than 15% against the dollar after President Mauricio Macri got thumped in Sunday's primary vote, a stark early warning for the incumbent ahead of the general election in October. Meanwhile, the Singapore government cut its full-year forecast range for gross domestic product as global conditions were seen worsening and data confirmed the slowest growth rate in a decade amid mounting fears of recession in the city-state. Singapore's final second quarter GDP data on Tuesday showed a 3.3% quarter-on-quarter contraction on a seasonally-adjusted annualised basis, slightly smaller than the 3.4% decline seen in the government's advance estimate but lower than a 2.9% fall predicted in a Reuters poll. "Singapore's sobering downward assessment of 2019 growth outlook is perhaps the most telling sign that the world is now bracing for the worse; even as it hopes for better," said Mizuho Bank's Vishnu Varathan in a note. The Indian rupee led losses on the day, weakening as much as 0.6% to 71.190 against the dollar, its lowest level since Feb. 28. The Indonesian rupiah, the South Korean won and the Thai baht depreciated up to 0.3% each. The Malaysian ringgit fell as much as 0.2%, while the Chinese yuan, the Singapore dollar and the Taiwan dollar depreciated slightly. CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR Change on the day at 0429 GMT Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move Japan yen 105.480 105.29 -0.18 Sing dlr 1.388 1.3867 -0.07 Taiwan dlr 31.439 31.400 -0.12 Korean won 1218.700 1216.2 -0.21 Baht 30.780 30.72 -0.19 Peso 52.120 52.16 +0.08 Rupiah 14280.000 14245 -0.25 Rupee 71.045 70.80 -0.34 Ringgit 4.191 4.183 -0.19 Yuan 7.063 7.0585 -0.07 Change so far in 2019 Currency Latest bid End 2018 Pct Move Japan yen 105.480 109.56 +3.87 Sing dlr 1.388 1.3627 -1.80 Taiwan dlr 31.439 30.733 -2.25 Korean won 1218.700 1115.70 -8.45 Baht 30.780 32.55 +5.75 Peso 52.120 52.47 +0.67 Rupiah 14280.000 14375 +0.67 Rupee 71.045 69.77 -1.79 Ringgit 4.191 4.1300 -1.46 Yuan 7.063 6.8730 -2.69 (Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr)