Most emerging Asian currencies inched up
in choppy trade on Wednesday, with markets in a wait and see
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
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
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
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
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
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%.
Shares markets in India and Malaysia were closed on account
of a public holiday.
** Thai economy to grow up to 3.5% this year – finance
**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>
Indonesi -0.11 -4.08 <.jk a se>
Philippi +0.12 -9.18 <.ps nes i>
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