Asian Currency

Asian FX, stocks drop

Most Asian currencies and stocks sold off on Friday, with equities in the Philippines posted its biggest one-day decline in over a year, as hotter-than-expected US inflation data raised concerns over a mid-year US rate cut.

The MSCI International Emerging Market Currency Index fell 0.3 percent , poised for its worst day in about a month. It is down 0.2 percent this week, the most since mid-January.

Stocks in Manila sank as much as 2.5 percent , on pace for their biggest one-day slide since January 2023.

Investors fled riskier assets to take refuge in the safe-haven dollar after US producer prices rose much more than expected that, coming on the heels of sticky consumer prices data earlier, kindled concerns over when the Federal Reserve would start lowering interest rates.

The odds of rate cuts starting in June retreated to 60 percent , from about 74 percent earlier, according to the CME FedWatch tool. All eyes will be on the Fed’s meeting next week for further cues on monetary policy.

Traders will also monitor central bank meetings in Japan, Taiwan and Indonesia next week for any clues on where regional interest rates might be headed. The Bank of Japan is expected to signal a shift from its ultra-easy monetary policy.

The dollar index was steady at 103.4 as of 0705 GMT, weighing on multiple emerging Asian currencies.

The South Korean won was the biggest casualty, tumbling 1 percent . The Taiwan dollar shed around 0.4 percent in its worst session since early February.

The Indonesian rupiah Philippines peso and Malaysian ringgit all lost 0.3 percent , with the ringgit seeing its worst day in a month and poised for its first weekly drop after three weeks.

Indonesia posted a smaller trade surplus in February as imports came in stronger.

Among Asian stocks, Seoul ended 1.9 percent lower, posting its biggest fall since early February, while Taipei closed down 1.3 percent , marking its worst day since early January.

Shares in Jakarta Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok fell between 0.1 percent and 0.9 percent.

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