* Yuan, ringgit, rupiah and won hold steady
* Singapore dollar, Taiwan dollar and baht edge higher
* Eyes on US President-elect Donald Trump's news conference
(Adds text, updates prices)
SINGAPORE, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies were
steady to firmer on Wednesday, with investors awaiting a news
conference by U.S. President-elect Donald Trump for further
clues on his economic policies and the direction of the
After gaining some respite this month as a short-covering
rally in the offshore Chinese yuan triggered some buying back of
Asian currencies, the focus now is on Trump's news conference
due later on Wednesday.
Asian currencies will be especially sentitive to what Trump
says about China, said Kota Hirayama, senior economist for SMBC
Nikko Securities in Tokyo.
"As long as Trump doesn't say anything extremely harsh
against China, the impact on Asian currencies may be limited,"
Hirayama said, regarding the near-term outlook.
During the election campaign, Trump threatened to brand
China a currency manipulator on his first day in office on Jan.
20 and slap high tariffs on Chinese goods sold to the United
Asian currencies are likely to come under renewed pressure
if the United States takes a hardline stance against China on
trade, which would raise concerns about the outlook for other
export-reliant Asian economies, he added.
Asian currencies have retreated broadly over the past couple
of months as U.S. bond yields jumped on expectations that
Trump's proposals for infrastructure spending and tax cuts will
prop up U.S. economic growth and inflation.
SOUTH KOREAN WON
The won was supported by dollar-selling by foreign players
and foreign demand for South Korean shares.
South Korean equities touched their highest level
since July 2015 at one point and were last up 1.4 percent on the
Expectations that fourth-quarter earnings among South Korean
firms would be stronger helped give a lift to the equity market.
CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
Change on the day at 0416 GMT
Currency Latest bid Previous Pct
Japan yen 116.10 115.78 -0.28
Sing dlr 1.4355 1.4362 +0.05
Taiwan dlr 31.891 31.948 +0.18
Korean won 1195.03 1194.60 -0.04
Baht 35.58 35.60 +0.06
Peso 49.540 49.505 -0.07
Rupiah 13308 13310 +0.02
Rupee 68.26 68.19 -0.11
Ringgit 4.4730 4.4730 +0.00
Yuan 6.9251 6.9245 -0.01
far in 2017
Currency Latest bid End prev Pct
Japan yen 116.10 117.07 +0.84
Sing dlr 1.4355 1.4490 +0.94
Taiwan dlr 31.891 32.279 +1.22
Korean won 1195.03 1207.70 +1.06
Baht 35.58 35.80 +0.63
Peso 49.54 49.72 +0.36
Rupiah 13308 13470 +1.22
Rupee 68.26 67.92 -0.50
Ringgit 4.4730 4.4845 +0.26
Yuan 6.9251 6.9467 +0.31
(Reporting by Masayuki Kitano; Additional reporting by Dahee
Kim in SEOUL and IFR Markets' Catherine Tan; Editing by Kim