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EM ASIA FX-Most Asian currencies rise as risk appetites return

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By Patturaja Murugaboopathy

Feb 23 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies recovered some of their recent losses on Friday as a retreat in U.S. Treasury yields boosted risk appetites and pushed regional assets higher.

In a sign of improved sentiment, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up about 1 percent on Friday.

A day earlier, the minutes of the Federal Reserve's January meeting dented Asian shares and currencies, on fears they might presage more aggressive U.S. rate hikes this year.

But then that sentiment started to fade, with a few analysts saying the minutes were not completely "hawkish".

"The minutes were far more balanced than the equity market sell-off suggested," said Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia-Pacific at futures brokerage OANDA.

"The discussions about their inflation target being symmetric indicate that the Feds are less concerned about the updraft from inflationary pressures than current market pricing."

The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield was last trading at 2.928 percent. It dropped to as low as 2.904 percent on Thursday after hitting a four-year high of 2.957 earlier this week.

The South Korean won and the Philippine peso rose about half a percent each on Friday, with the latter set to post its first weekly gain in seven weeks.

The peso hit a 11-1/2 year low against the dollar at the start of the week, and since then traders took profits by selling dollars.

The Indian rupee , which was up more than 0.25 percent on the day, was set for its worst weekly decline in five months as concerns over widening trade deficit and growing fallout from the $1.8 billion Punjab National Bank fraud. [ nL2N1QD08B]

Also, minutes from the last policy meeting of India's central bank, which showed increasing concern among members about accelerating inflation, undermined the rupee further.

The Thai baht , Singapore dollar and the Indonesian rupiah were also on track to post losses for the week.

The dollar index , up 0.2 percent on the day, was on track to gain about 1 percent this week. It touched a three-year low last week.

This week, the dollar has started to track the U.S. bond yields again after moving away in the past few weeks.

Some analysts said this could reinforce dollar strength and impact regional currencies in the coming days.

The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against the dollar at 0633 GMT.

CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR

Change as of

0633 GMT Currency Latest Previous Pct Move

bid day Japan yen 106.95 106.74 -0.20

0 Sing dlr 1.322 1.3190 -0.26 Taiwan dlr 29.289 29.301 +0.04 Korean won 1079.0 1084.3 +0.49

00 Baht 31.460 31.54 +0.25 Peso 51.880 52.1 +0.42 Rupiah 13670. 13680 +0.07

000 Rupee 64.840 65.04 +0.31 Ringgit 3.908 3.915 +0.19 Yuan 6.343 6.3565 +0.21

Change so far in 2018 Currency Latest End 2017 Pct Move

bid Japan yen 106.95 112.67 +5.35

0 Sing dlr 1.322 1.3373 +1.13 Taiwan dlr 29.289 29.848 +1.91 Korean won 1079.0 1070.50 -0.79

00 Baht 31.460 32.58 +3.56 Peso 51.880 49.93 -3.76 Rupiah 13670. 13565 -0.77

000 Rupee 64.840 63.87 -1.50 Ringgit 3.908 4.0440 +3.49 Yuan 6.343 6.5069 +2.59

<^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Dollar and U.S. Treasury yields ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^> (Reporting by Patturaja Murugaboopathy in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Gaurav Dogra; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.

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