Emerging Asia’s stocks and currencies
rose on Wednesday, driven by hopes of more economic stimulus in
China, with investors also focusing on Russian-Ukraine peace
talks and the US Federal Reserve.
Equities in China surged more than 3% and the yuan
inched up 0.4% in its best session in over two
months, after Vice Premier Liu He indicated China plans to take
measures to boost the economy and would also announce policies
favorable to capital markets.
Stocks in Thailand climbed nearly 1%, while those in
Singapore and South Korea gained over 1%.
Currencies also edged higher, with the Thai baht and
South Korean won clocking a 0.4% gain each.
The gains followed a relief rally on Wall Street overnight,
driven by hopes of a resolution to the conflict in Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Wednesday peace
talks with Russia were sounding more realistic but more time was
Moves in Asia were still cautious ahead of a closely watched
meeting of the Fed later in the day. Markets have already priced
in a 25 basis points rate hike and will also look for further
policy cues in light of surging inflation and volatile commodity
prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“The bigger question is whether one should expect a
carefully hawkish Fed or an aggressively hawkish Fed in
tonight’s meeting,” Bank of Singapore currency analyst Moh Siong
“A hawkish tone is likely to keep the dollar strong against
the currencies of developed markets and markets will also look
out for whether the Fed keeps the door open for a 50 basis
points hike further down the road,” the analyst said.
Regional markets also steadied on China cues, including a
drop in COVID-19 cases, with shares in Indonesia last up
0.8%, after climbing nearly 1% earlier, and the rupiah up
Indonesia’s finance minister said the economy was resilient
in the face of increased volatility due to the war in Ukraine
and vowed to protect people from an “extreme” rise in food
Bonds in the region were under pressure, having taken a
beating last week when surging commodity prices raised inflation
risks, with yields on high-returning Indonesian benchmark bonds
rising 32 basis points to 6.766%.
** Top gainers on the Singapore STI include United
Overseas Bank Ltd up 3.5% and Yangzijiang Shipbuilding
Holdings Ltd up 2.29%
** Top gainers on the Jakarta stock index include
Victoria Investama Tbk PT up 25.48% and Tanah Laut Tbk
PT up 23.42%
Asia stock indexes and currencies
at 0732 GMT
COUNTRY FX RIC FX FX INDE STOCKS STOCKS
DAILY % YTD % X DAILY YTD %
Japan -0.03 -2.74 <.n2>
India +0.43 -2.56 <.ns ei>
Indonesi +0.12 -0.41 <.jk a se>
Malaysia +0.18 -0.80 <.kl se>
Philippi +0.15 -2.37 <.ps nes i>
Singapore +0.27 -0.94 <.st e i>
Taiwan -0.01 -3.28 <.tw ii>
Thailand +0.39 +0.03 <.se ti>
(Reporting by Riya Sharma; Editing by Anil D’Silva)