Asian Currency

EMERGING MARKETS-Asian currencies, stocks rally as Fed keeps rate cut projections


By Echha Jain

March 21 (Reuters)Asian currencies rallied on Thursday against a broadly weaker dollar, while stocks in the region gained after the U.S. Federal Reserve maintained its projections for three interest rate cuts for this year.

The South Korean won KRW=KFTC led gains in the region, up as much as 1.1% for its biggest intraday gain since Dec 14, 2023. The Malaysian ringgit MYR= followed suit, jumping as much as 0.9% to hit 4.696 per U.S. dollar, its largest intraday gain since March 7.

On the stock market front, Taiwan shares .TWII rallied as much as 2% to a fresh record high, while those in Singapore .STI advanced 1.1% to hit their highest level since Feb 23.

Overnight, the Federal Reserve stayed on track for three interest rate cuts this year and affirmed that solid economic growth will continue.

“I think what the Fed tried to say from the new economic projection as well as the new Dot Plot is that they feel more confident in overall economic resilience,” Poon Panichpibool, a markets strategist at Krung Thai Bank, said.

Traders had earlier braced for the possibility the Fed’s economic projections could signal just two rate cuts this year, or a later start to easing of monetary policy.

The CME FedWatch tool showed the market is pricing in a 75% chance of a Fed rate cut in June, compared to around 56% at the beginning of the week.

“The Fed’s decision could allow Asian central banks except for the BOJ to deliver some rate cuts if needed from June,” Panichpibool said, adding that most policymakers in the region may not want to ease too soon given concerns over their respective currencies’ stability.

Indonesia stocks .JKSE were trading 0.7% higher while the rupiah IDR= was up 0.4%, a day after the country’s central bank held its key benchmark rate steady and reaffirmed its conviction that monetary policy could be eased in the second half.

The Philippine peso PHP= was up 0.5%, while local stocks .PSI added 0.5%.

HIGHLIGHTS:

** Philippines central bank says its policy decisions not dependent on Fed’s

** Asian bonds draw hefty inflows on U.S. rate cut hopes, strong exports

** China c.bank has room to cut bank reserves ratio further, deputy governor says

** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yield ID10YT=RR falls 4 basis points to 6.627%

Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0326 GMT

COUNTRY

FX RIC

FX DAILY %

FX YTD %

INDEX

STOCKS DAILY %

STOCKS YTD %

Japan

JPY=

+0.49

-6.28

.N225

1.67

21.53

China

CNY=CFXS

-0.03

-1.40

.SSEC

-0.22

3.29

India

INR=IN

+0.00

+0.06

.NSEI

0.00

0.50

Indonesia

IDR=

+0.35

-1.66

.JKSE

0.66

1.47

Malaysia

MYR=

+0.66

-2.44

.KLSE

0.23

5.82

Philippines

PHP=

+0.47

-0.97

.PSI

0.54

6.89

S.Korea

KRW=KFTC

+1.04

-2.87

.KS11

2.08

3.42

Singapore

SGD=

+0.20

-1.33

.STI

0.97

-0.99

Taiwan

TWD=TP

+0.26

-3.30

.TWII

1.86

12.39

Thailand

THB=TH

+0.17

-4.89

.SETI

0.92

-2.12

Graphic: World FX rates https://tmsnrt.rs/2RBWI5E

Asian stock markets https://tmsnrt.rs/2zpUAr4

(Reporting by Echha Jain in Bengaluru Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

((Echha.jain@thomsonreuters.com))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.



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