CHINESE YUAN The Chinese yuan rose 0.2 percent, reflecting a broadly weaker dollar and a higher mid-point set by the People's Bank of China. There was muted reaction to solid Chinese trade numbers released earlier in the day, although the data reinforced a growing view that the world's second-biggest economy is holding its own even though the outlook has dimmed somewhat on the back of Beijing's crackdown on debt risks. SOUTH KOREAN WON The won gained the most in the region, up 0.8 percent, its highest in more than two weeks. South Korea's central bank held its policy rate at a record-low 1.25 percent for a 13th straight month on Thursday, a widely expected decision as policy makers seek to boost subdued private consumption and keep any thoughts of tightening off the table for now. Stephen Innes, senior trader from Oanda sees this as good sign as "it will keep the equity markets in a pretty good mood. A rate hike could have tampered equity markets as much of the inflow in South Korea has been predicated on the back of low equity valuations." The benchmark South Korea stock index was up 1.2 percent.
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