Thursday in Asia, the Southeast Asian currencies made strong gains against the US dollar as a surge in global stocks helped revive risk appetite, boosting demand for emerging-market assets.

A better-than-expected US economic data improved the outlook for the Asian countries' exports. Reports yesterday showed home sales rose unexpectedly in the world's biggest economy and manufacturing beat economists' estimates.

The major markets across the Asia-Pacific region are trading higher today morning, tracking the U.S. markets, where all the indices advanced for the second day in succession on unexpected positive economic data. The positive economic reports encouraged traders by suggesting that the worst of the economic conditions may be behind us. The data also strengthened expectations that the government initiatives are starting to bear fruit.

Market participants keenly await the outcome of the G-20 meeting and the market will be closely watching to see what measures they will discuss to fight the global economic crisis.

A draft communique from the Group of 20 leaders of developed and developing nations meeting in London made no specific commitment to extra fiscal stimulus but said regulation would extend to systemically important hedge funds.

Leaders were also set to pledge to cooperate on economic policy, boost funds for the International Monetary Fund and refrain from competitive devaluations of their currencies as they seek to ward off a deepening global slump.

During Asian deals on Thursday, the Taiwan dollar spiked higher against the US currency. The pair that closed yesterday's trading at 33.7420 is currently worth 33.5690. This set the highest point for the Taiwan dollar since January 23. On the upside, 33.50 is seen as the next target level for the Taiwan dollar.

The Chinese yuan traded higher against the US dollar in Asian deals on Thursday. Currently, the dollar-yuan pair is worth 6.8344, compared to 6.8353 hit late New York Wednesday. If the Chinese currency advances further, it may test near term resistance around the 6.831 level. The People's Bank of China has set today's central parity rate for the dollar-yuan pair at 6.8341. The pair is allowed to strengthen or weaken 0.5% from the parity rate.

In early deals on Thursday, the Indian rupee jumped to its highest level in nearly 2-weeks against the dollar. The rupee rose to 50.02 per dollar by about 11:30 pm ET. If the Indian currency strengthens further, it may likely target the 49.9 level. At Wednesday's New York session close, the dollar-rupee pair was quoted at 50.65.

The Philippine peso strengthened to a 3-day high of 48.1250 against the dollar in early trading on Thursday. The next upside target level for the Philippine currency is seen at 48.01. At Wednesday's close, the dollar-peso pair was quoted at 48.21.

During Asian trading on Thursday, the Thai baht climbed to a 3-day high of 35.3650 against the dollar. The next likely resistance for the Thailand currency is seen at 35.231. The dollar-baht pair was worth 35.48 at yesterday's North American session close.

The Singapore dollar rose to a 3-day high of 1.5146 against the US currency in Asian deals on Thursday. This may be compared to yesterday's closing value of 1.5189. The next upside target level for the Singapore dollar is seen at 1.505.

The Malaysian ringgit that closed yesterday's trading at 3.6465 against the dollar advanced to 3.6270 during Asian deals on Thursday. This set a 3-day high for the ringgit. On the upside, 3.6250 is seen as the next target level for the Malaysian currency.

In Asian deals on Thursday, the South Korean won edged higher against the US dollar. At 12:20 am ET, the won reached a 6-day high of 1336.35 against the dollar, compared to 1357.40 hit late New York Wednesday. If the Korean currency moves up further, it may likely target the 1306.6 level.

Traders are now likely to focus on the Singapore March PMI and India's weekly inflation report, which are expected in the upcoming hours.

Turning to the US, the US factory orders for February and the weekly jobless claims report have been slated for release.

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