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By Aaron Saldanha
(Reuters) - Asian currencies moved gingerly on Thursday as the U.S. dollar recovered on positive labour market data, while regional equities were higher on hopes that some countries will get exemptions from coming U.S. trade tariffs.
The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies was effectively flat at 89.592 after pulling away from a two-week trough of 89.407 the previous day.
Hopes for a steady reduction in tensions over North Korea has helped the South Korean won firm over the past few days. On Thursday, it edged up 0.08 percent against the dollar while the country's benchmark equities index gained more than 1 percent.
The Taiwan dollar was flat after data released on Wednesday showed exports unexpectedly slipped in February.
The Singapore dollar weakened slightly.
The Indian rupee weakened 0.04 percent. Indonesia's rupiah shed 0.07 percent against the dollar.
The yuan was 0.11 percent weaker despite exports in February growing at their strongest annual pace in three years.
The People's Bank of China set the strongest daily fix in more than a week, at 6.3239 per U.S. dollar.
"We believe China authorities are likely to maintain a policy of a stable yuan against a basket of trading partners which leaves the U.S. dollar/Chinese yuan particularly sensitive to broad dollar moves," said Tariq Ali, investment strategist at Standard Chartered Bank.
The baht advanced for a fourth straight day, firming 0.09 percent. It has strengthened about 4.1 percent this year, after gaining about 9.8 percent in 2017, a performance which some exporters fear will hurt Thailand's competitiveness.
Ali of Standard Chartered said the baht's "pro-cyclical, risk-on" nature and positive market sentiment at the start of the year are largely responsible for this year's gains.
The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against the dollar at 0613 GMT.
CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
Currency Latest Previous Pct Move
Japan yen 105.930 106.06 +0.12
Sing dlr 1.314 1.3137 -0.03
Taiwan dlr 29.252 29.254 +0.01
Korean won 1068.200 1069.1 +0.08
Baht 31.293 31.32 +0.09
Peso 51.980 51.98 0.00
Rupiah 13772.000 13762 -0.07
Rupee 64.905 64.88 -0.04
Ringgit 3.906 3.903 -0.08
Yuan 6.328 6.3206 -0.11
Change so far in 2018
Currency Latest End 2017 Pct Move
Japan yen 105.930 112.67 +6.36
Sing dlr 1.314 1.3373 +1.77
Taiwan dlr 29.252 29.848 +2.04
Korean won 1068.200 1070.50 +0.22
Baht 31.293 32.58 +4.11
Peso 51.980 49.93 -3.94
Rupiah 13772.000 13565 -1.50
Rupee 64.905 63.87 -1.59
Ringgit 3.906 4.0440 +3.53
Yuan 6.328 6.5069 +2.83
(Reporting by Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Borsuk)
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)