Currency

EMERGING MARKETS-Most Asian equities extend rally, currencies mixed


By Roushni Nair

Jan 23 (Reuters)Equities in Taiwan hit a three-week high on Tuesday and shares in Malaysia, South Korea, and the Philippines also gained after an earnings-driven rally helped the S&P 500 notch up a fresh record high for a second straight session.

Stocks in Taipei .TWII advanced as much as 0.4% to their highest level since Jan. 2, while those in Kuala Lumpur .KLSE rose 0.6% to a 1-week high. Benchmarks in Seoul .KS11 and Manila .PSI were up 0.3% and 0.4% by 0428 GMT.

The MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS was up 0.8%, hitting its highest in about a week, while Tokyo stocks .N225 climbed to a 34-year peak after the central bank stood pat on its ultra-loose monetary policy.

Shares in Thailand .SETI were trading flat after losing nearly 1% in the previous session. The benchmark fell 1% last week, marking its worst week in three.

Thailand’s economy is expected to grow 2.8% this year, a sharp downgrade from a previous projection of 3.2%, the finance ministry said.

Currencies in the region struggled for direction, with the Chinese yuan CNY=CFXS and the South Korean won KRW=KFTC making the most ground, adding 0.3% each.

The yuan was helped by a Bloomberg report that Chinese policymakers are seeking to mobilise about 2 trillion yuan ($279 billion) as part of a stabilisation fund to buy shares.

The Singapore dollar SGD= and Indonesian rupiah IDR= each climbed 0.2%.

“We recommend fading the sell-off in KRW but that aside, the broader Asia FX spot, vol and skew dynamics are more consistent with fundamentals than they first appear,” Adarsh Sinha, an analyst at BofA Securities wrote in a note to clients.

The Malaysian ringgit MYR= and the Phillipine peso PHP= largely traded flat.

The dollar index =USD dipped 0.1% to 103.30 but was not too far from an over one-month high of 103.69 hit last week as traders pare back their expectations for a rate cut by the Federal Reserve in March. FEDWATCH

Meanwhile, equities in China hovered near a five-year low hit in the previous session despite the Bloomberg report. Hong Kong shares, however, rallied after the country’s cabinet pledged to take more effective measures to stabilise market confidence.

HIGHLIGHTS:

** South Korea’s economy likely grew at slightly slower pace in Q4 – Poll

** Singapore Dec core inflation at 3.3% y/y

** China weighs stock market rescue package backed by $278 bln – Bloomberg News

Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0444 GMT

COUNTRY

FX RIC

FX DAILY %

FX YTD %

INDEX

STOCKS DAILY %

STOCKS YTD %

Japan

JPY=

-0.01

-4.75

.N225

0.30

10.12

China

CNY=CFXS

+0.26

-1.04

.SSEC

-0.35

-7.67

India

INR=IN

-0.05

+0.12

.NSEI

0.50

-0.24

Indonesia

IDR=

-0.16

-1.66

.JKSE

-0.42

-0.76

Malaysia

MYR=

-0.13

-2.96

.KLSE

0.41

2.93

Philippines

PHP=

-0.13

-1.67

.PSI

0.40

2.48

S.Korea

KRW=KFTC

+0.25

-3.56

.KS11

0.26

-6.95

Singapore

SGD=

+0.13

-1.57

.STI

0.04

-2.77

Taiwan

TWD=TP

+0.01

-1.96

.TWII

0.13

-0.52

Thailand

THB=TH

-0.10

-4.08

.SETI

0.05

-3.19

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

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

(Reporting by Roushni Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

((Roushni.nair@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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