Asian Currency

Asian stocks slide on US tech earnings worries; currencies fall

BENGALURU (April 25): The Philippine peso and South Korean won led losses on Thursday among subdued Asian emerging currencies, while stock markets in the region were pulled lower by a weak tech sector, after Facebook parent Meta Platforms disappointed with its forecasts.

The won was trading 0.6% lower, while the peso fell as much as 0.7% to its lowest since November 2022.

The Indonesian rupiah fell 0.4%, losing the ground which it gained a day earlier when the country’s central bank surprised markets by delivering an unexpected quarter-point rate hike to support the currency.

“We believe BI (Bank Indonesia) struck a hawkish tone and left the door open to further hikes, retaining a strong focus on its FX stability goal and a still-sanguine view on the growth outlook,” said Nomura analysts in a note.

Analysts at Citi said the “hike is unlikely to do much for the rupiah in the near-term”, largely due to an uncertain global macro backdrop. They now see smaller cumulative BI rate cuts of just 100 basis points by 2025, compared to a previous expectation of 150 bps.

In other regional currencies, the Malaysian ringgit depreciated 0.2%, while the Thai baht dropped 0.3%.

Most emerging market stocks fell, led by South Korean and Taiwan stocks, after Meta’s earnings forecasts disappointed. Tech bellwethers Alphabet, Microsoft and Intel are due to report earnings later on Thursday.

South Korean stocks fell 1.4%, whereas shares in Taiwan lost 1.3%. Both gained more than 2% in the previous session.

Stocks in Malaysia remained largely unchanged after data showed that the country’s consumer price index (CPI) rose 1.8% from a year earlier in March, just below the predicted 2% rise according to a Reuters poll.

“We think inflation could pick up somewhat due to the services tax hike starting in March, but it will remain manageable at around 2%,” said MUFG’s Lloyd Chan.

Singapore stocks were as much as 1.3% lower, while Indonesian shares fell 0.6%.

Bucking the trend, Philippine shares gained 0.4%, while stocks in Thailand rose as much as 0.3%.

The Vietnamese dong was 0.4% higher, distancing itself from its record low hit last week.

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