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Asian currencies gain most since March

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SINGAPORE - Asian currencies had their biggest weekly gain in more than four months as an uneven recovery in the US increased bets the Federal Reserve will delay raising interest rates, boosting demand for riskier assets. 

Global investors pumped $1.3 billion into six Asian emerging stock markets tracked by Bloomberg this week. US retail sales were little changed in July, the worst performance in six months, while jobless claims came in at 311,000 last week, higher than the 295,000 median forecast in a Bloomberg survey. In Russia, President Vladimir Putin said on Aug 14 that his nation will do all it can to end the Ukraine conflict.

The Bloomberg-JPMorgan Asia Dollar Index, which tracks the region's 10 most-active currencies excluding the yen, rose 0.4% this week, the most since the five days ended March 28. Malaysia's ringgit gained 1.7% to 3.1537 per dollar, South Korea's won advanced 1.5% to 1,020.93 as of Aug 14 and the Philippine peso strengthened 1.1% to 43.665, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Financial markets in Korea and India were shut on Friday.

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