Solid US retail data hurts Asian currencies

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Most emerging Asian currencies eased on Tuesday as upbeat United States retail sales data lifted the dollar and geopolitical tensions in Ukraine reduced appetite for riskier assets.

Investors stayed cautious ahead of speeches from US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen this week and China's first-quarter economic growth data on Wednesday.

The South Korean won slid on dollar demand linked to local companies' dividend payments to foreign shareholders and as importers bought the greenback for payments.

The Philippine peso dipped on dollar demand from local importers and higher bond yields.

The dollar rose against a basket of six major currencies after US retail sales posted their largest gain in 1-1/2 years in March.

Risk sentiment remained sour as pro-Russian separatists seized more buildings in eastern Ukraine on Monday, expanding their occupation after the government failed to follow through with an armed crackdown.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.