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EM ASIA FX-Asian currencies subdued; shrug off N.Korea missile test

 (Adds details, updates prices)
    By Ambar Warrick
    May 29 Asian currencies paled against a stronger
U.S. dollar on Monday, with markets little fazed by a ballistic
missile test by North Korea, but trading was subdued as key
financial markets were closed. 
    The dollar index was up about 0.03 percent against a
basket of currencies, extending Friday's rally when it hit a
one-week high on positively revised U.S. gross domestic product
data.
    The U.S. economy slowed less than initially thought in the
first quarter, with gross domestic product increasing at a 1.2
percent annual rate, the Commerce Department said on Friday in
its second GDP estimate for the quarter.
     "We can see some declines in other currencies, which is
possibly due to a firm dollar index after last Friday," said Gao
Qi, an FX Strategist at Scotiabank.
    Earlier in the session, North Korea fired about one
short-range ballistic missile that landed in the sea off its
east coast, the latest following two successful tests of
medium-to long range missiles in defiance of world pressure and
threats of more sanctions.
    "I think the impact from the launch is muted, quite
limited," Gao Qi added. "You can see that the Korean won
rebounded slightly."
    Investors are also awaiting China's official factory
activity data, due on Wednesday, which is expected to show the
slowest pace of growth in eight months, according to a poll by
Reuters.
    Analysts expect China's overall economic growth to slow
gradually over the rest of the year, as authorities tighten
regulations to deter riskier lending and as the impact of
earlier stimulus measures begins to fade.
    The Singapore dollar was down about 0.2 percent
against the dollar, its biggest percentage loss in nearly a
week. 
    It had gained about 0.4 percent in the previous session
after data showed the island state's manufacturing output in
April rose 6.7 percent from a year earlier.
    The Thai baht fell as much as 0.27 percent in its
biggest percentage loss in nearly 3 weeks. The currency rallied
about 0.6 percent on Friday.
    The yuan and the Taiwan Dollar did not
trade on account of domestic holidays.

    S.KOREAN WON
    
    The Korean won rose as much as 0.2 percent on
Monday after having added about 0.6 percent last week on the
back of strong inflows.
    South Korean shares rallied for a seventh day to
mark another intraday record, tracking Wall Street's performance
on Friday.
    U.S. markets were closed for a public holiday.
    While Korean assets are being underpinned by continued
inflows, analysts believe month-end dollar selling is helping
the won rebound, albeit slightly.  
      
    
 CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
 Change on the day at   0553 GMT                        
 Currency                     Latest bid  Previous day  Pct
                                                        Move
 Japan yen                    111.300     111.31        +0.01
 Sing dlr                     1.384       1.3815        -0.21
 Korean won                   1120.400    1120.7        +0.03
 Baht                         34.083      34.018        -0.19
 Peso                         49.770      49.75         -0.04
 Rupiah                       13313.000   13294         -0.14
 Rupee                        64.570      64.44         -0.20
 Ringgit                      4.267       4.267         +0.00
                                                        
 Change so far                                          
 Currency                     Latest bid  End 2016      Pct
                                                        Move
 Japan yen                    111.300     117.07        +5.18
 Sing dlr                     1.384       1.4490        +4.67
 Korean won                   1120.400    1207.70       +7.79
 Baht                         34.083      35.80         +5.04
 Peso                         49.770      49.72         -0.10
 Rupiah                       13313.000   13470         +1.18
 Rupee                        64.570      67.92         +5.19
 Ringgit                      4.267       4.4845        +5.10
 
 (Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim
Coghill)
  
 
 
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