Most Asian currencies trod water on Friday, and with the exception of the Indian rupee they were set to end the week lower, partly due to concerns over a brewing trade war and caution ahead an OPEC meeting later in the day.
The Chinese yuan eased about 0.15 percent to a more than five-month low against the dollar. Mounting trade tensions between China and the United States has weighed heavily on the yuan, which is set for its worst week since November 2016.
The Chinese central bank set the yuan's official midpoint slightly lower for the day. [CNY/]
"We think China is still comfortable with current mild depreciation as the yuan is one of the best performers in global currency market year-to-date, though they will watch out for the pace of movement closely," OCBC said in a research note.
The Philippine peso also fell, losing about 0.2 percent to the dollar. The currency was the worst performer amongst its peers this year, and was on track to end lower for a third consecutive week.
The South Korean won recovered after touching a more than 7-month low in its previous session. The won has lost largely on foreign selling this year, a trend also mirrored in South Korean equities.
The won was on track to lose about 1 percent for the week.
The Thailand baht extended gains against the dollar from Thursday, as exports strengthened in May. The baht was still on track for its worst week since September 2015.
The Indian rupee rose 0.2 percent to the dollar, extending gains into a third straight session, and was the only one among its peers set for a weekly gain.
“The rupee is moving with the overall dollar sentiment, which has been fickle over the last few days. However, crude oil was down since yesterday and for India, crude is a big worry. So if crude comes down, it also provides some comfort to the rupee,” said Nitin Agarwal, director at Barclays Bank, Mumbai.
Oil prices dipped on Thursday as Iran signalled it could be won over to a small rise in OPEC crude output. India is a large importer of crude.
India, the world's biggest buyer of U.S. almonds, raised import duties on the commodity by 20 percent, a government order said, joining the European Union and China in retaliating against the country's tariff hikes on steel and aluminium.