Asian Currency

Asian currencies edge lower – Business & Finance

BENGALURU: Most Asian currencies inched lower on Wednesday while equities were largely mixed as traders remained cautious ahead of a key US inflation reading due on Thursday that could give clues on the timing of rate cuts by the Federal Reserve.

The Philippine peso was down 0.4% and the Indonesian rupiah weakened 0.3%, both on track for their fourth consecutive decline.

The Malaysian ringgit was largely unchanged at 4.758 per US dollar after gaining 0.3% in the previous session. The currency briefly touched its lowest since January 1998 last week.

The response from Malaysia’s central bank echoed Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s sentiment that the currency is undervalued and should be trading higher on account of positive fundamentals and prospects for the economy.

“The combination of weak domestic fundamentals, lack of USD sellers, lower FDI inflows, persistent portfolio outflows and the absence of central bank intervention drove MYR weakness,” analysts at Goldman Sachs wrote. They think there is scope for the ringgit to weaken further as the Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) will not intervene heavily in the FX markets given its moderate level of FX reserves.

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