Currency

EMERGING MARKETS-Most Asian currencies slip ahead of US inflation data, shares rise


By Archishma Iyer

March 12 (Reuters)Most Asian currencies were subdued on Tuesday, with the Thai baht leading the laggards, as traders refrained from making fresh bets ahead of a key U.S. inflation report that could influence the Federal Reserve’s rate trajectory.

Investors are laser focused on the consumer price index data expected later in the day, with a forecast monthly increase of 0.4%. Any sudden upside surprises could potentially lead to investors exiting riskier assets.

Ahead of the release, a Reuters poll showed that the Fed is likely to slash rates in June.

At 0410 GMT, the dollar index – which measures the strength of the greenback against six major rivals – was at 102.82.

In Asia, Thailand’s baht THB=TH led the laggards for the day, dropping about 0.3%, while the Taiwan dollar TWD=TP fell modestly.

The Philippines peso PHP= also slipped marginally. The archipelago nation’s trade deficit widened slightly in January to $4.22 billion from $4.18 billion the prior month, according to preliminary official data.

“While the peso has outperformed recently, we continue to see PHP underperforming through 2024 as the current account deficit remains large and FX valuations are not attractive,” Michael Wan, a FX strategist with MUFG, said in a client note.

The peso is currently trading flat on a year-to-date basis, while the only emerging Asian currency trading in positive territory is the Indian rupee INR=IN, which has gained about 0.6%.

Other currencies such as the Singapore dollar SGD=, Malaysian ringgit MYR= and South Korean won KRW=KFTC traded flat.

Elsewhere in emerging markets, Argentina, which has been undergoing an economic crisis, slashed its interest rates to 80% from 100%. The country’s peso ARS=RASL last traded at 848.00 per dollar.

In Asia, most markets perked up, with stocks in Seoul .KS11, Kuala Lumpur .KLSE, Manila .PSI and Singapore .STI trading between 0.2% and 0.4% higher.

Taiwan shares .TWII rose about 0.9%, not far from a record high posted last week that was propelled by enthusiasm across global artificial intelligence stocks.

“We maintain our view that the AI-wave, which is driving the tech cycle’s turn in Korea and Taiwan, is likely to have fewer spillovers into South East Asia’s economies, which serve the downstreaming services for production of legacy chips,” Barclays analysts wrote.

Indonesia markets remained closed for a public holiday.

HIGHLIGHTS:

** Philippines’ says China’s maritime-related proposals run contrary to its interests

** BOJ chief Ueda slightly tones down optimism on economy

** China Vanke’s bonds eased after Moody’s starts ratings review

Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0410 GMT

COUNTRY

FX RIC

FX DAILY %

FX YTD %

INDEX

STOCKS DAILY %

STOCKS YTD %

Japan

JPY=

-0.29

-4.28

.N225

-0.49

15.45

China

CNY=CFXS

+0.05

-1.11

.SSEC

-0.47

2.66

India

INR=IN

+0.03

+0.57

.NSEI

0.08

2.85

Indonesia

IDR=

-1.22

.JKSE

1.50

Malaysia

MYR=

+0.02

-1.92

.KLSE

0.16

6.36

Philippines

PHP=

-0.13

+0.01

.PSI

0.52

7.10

S.Korea

KRW=KFTC

-0.02

-1.72

.KS11

0.44

0.61

Singapore

SGD=

+0.00

-0.84

.STI

0.26

-2.89

Taiwan

TWD=TP

-0.13

-2.29

.TWII

0.86

10.96

Thailand

THB=TH

-0.28

-3.76

.SETI

0.11

-2.41

(Reporting by Archishma Iyer in Bengaluru; Editing by Jamie Freed)

((Archishma.Iyer@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.



Source link

Leave a Response