Monday, September 26

Asia FX in holding pattern after US data, India GDP eyed


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Most emerging Asian currencies inched up

in choppy trade on Wednesday, with markets in a wait and see

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mode, after stronger-than-expected economic data from the United

States refueled fears of aggressive interest rate hikes.

South Korea’s won appreciated 0.2%, while

Singapore’s dollar and the Philippine peso firmed

0.1% each.

The overnight US jobs report – closely watched by the

Federal Reserve – pointed to strong demand for labor, and data

also showed US consumer confidence rebounded more than

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expected in August after three straight monthly declines.

“Overnight it was ‘good news is bad news’ with the strong

JOLTS data showing no signs of cooling in the labor market with

the inference the Fed may need to be more aggressive to bring

inflation is under control,” said Tapas Strickland, an economist at

National Australia Bank.

The dollar index see-sawed and was last down 0.1% at

0420 GMT.

Thailand’s baht, which has lost about 9% so far

this year, weakened as much as 0.1% before reversing losses to

trade in line with its regional peers. Its July current account

data is due later on Wednesday.

“July current account due today will be closely watched.

Consensus expects the reading to narrow slightly… any

unexpected signs of further widening could weigh on THB

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sentiments and vice versa,” analysts at Maybank wrote.

India’s June-quarter gross domestic product figures, due at

1200 GMT, also kept investors hooked.

Asia’s third-largest economy will likely record strong

double-digit economic growth in the last quarter but economists

polled by Reuters expected the pace to more than halve this

quarter and slow further toward the end of the year as interest

rates rise.

Meanwhile, China, the world’s second-largest economy and the

region’s largest trading partner, imposed tougher COVID-19 curbs

on several big cities on Tuesday.

Equities in Manila and Jakarta led losses,

dropping 1.3% and 0.9, respectively. Singapore’s benchmark index

fell 0.5%, while stocks in Seoul rose 0.2%.

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Shares markets in India and Malaysia were closed on account

of a public holiday.

HIGHLIGHTS:

** Thai economy to grow up to 3.5% this year – finance

minister

**San Miguel and SM Investments are top

losers on Philippine’s benchmark index

** China’s August factory activity contracts for second

month – official PMI

The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against

the dollar at 0344 GMT.

COUNTRY FX RIC FX FX INDE STOCKS STOCKS

DAILY % YTD % X DAILY YTD %

%

Japan +0.15 -16.9 <.n2>

China EC>

Indonesi -0.11 -4.08 <.jk a se>

Philippi +0.12 -9.18 <.ps nes i>

S.Korea 3 11>

Singapore +0.13 -3.37 <.st e i>

Taiwan +0.17 -8.96 <.tw ii>

Thailand -0.16 -8.60 <.se ti>

(Reporting by Upasana Singh in Bengaluru; editing by Christian

Schmollinger)

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