Tuesday, October 19

Malaysia’s ringgit, Singapore dollar gains as travel curbs ease

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Malaysia’s ringgit scaled a near

one-month peak on Monday and equities advanced more than half a

percent after the government lifted interstate and international

travel restrictions, while most other Asian currencies edged


Singapore dollar firmed 0.2% to hit its highest in

two weeks, while equities touched a near two-month peak

after the government opened its borders to more countries for

quarantine-free travel.

Meanwhile, investors will be eyeing Singapore’s advanced


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third-quarter economic growth data expected later in the week,

with analysts at OCBC Bank expecting a moderation from

second-quarter’s 14.7% year-on-year growth.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore is likely to keep its

monetary policy settings unchanged at this juncture, but may

signal a need for recalibration in 2022, the OCBC analysts said

in a note.

Meanwhile, a soft US payrolls figure last week did little

to alter market expectations of tapering of bond purchases by

the US Federal Reserve, pressuring risk-sensitive Asian

markets as the US dollar firmed and Treasury yields jumped.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against

six major currencies, edged higher to 94.139, while the 10-year


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benchmark yields hit multi-month highs on

expectations of the Fed’s tapering plans.

Investors now await US September inflation data on

Wednesday, which, according to analysts at Mizuho bank, “will be

a key trigger for bond markets to adjust positions just ahead of

Federal Open Market Committee’s minutes.”

In Malaysia, the ringgit added 0.2% to scale 4.167

per US dollar, its highest since Sept. 17, while equities

advanced as much as 0.7% and were on course to gain for

a fifth consecutive session.

Malaysia lifted interstate and international travel

restrictions for residents fully vaccinated against COVID-19

starting Monday, as the country achieved its target of

inoculating 90% of its adult population.


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The Thai baht firmed by about 0.3% while stocks

were up 0.4% to scale their highest in more than four

weeks. The Indonesian rupiah also edged higher.

Among the regional equity markets, Philippine stocks

surged 2.7% for their biggest intraday jump since mid-August,

rallying after two consecutive sessions of declines, while the

peso slipped 0.3%.

Markets in South Korea, and Taiwan

were closed for a holiday.


** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields edges higher to


** China orders miners in Inner Mongolia to ramp up coal

production – nL1N2R40KN

** India says it has ample coal stocks for power sector –


** Global tax deal seeks to end havens, criticized for’no

teeth’ – nL1N2R41MK

Asia stock indexes and

currencies at 0339 GMT





Japan -0.42 -8.3 <.n2>

China 1 EC>

India +0.00 -2.5 <.ns ei>

Indones +0.07 -1.2 <.jk ia se>

Malaysi +0.24 -3.5 <.kl a se>

Philipp -0.24 -5.2 <.ps ines i>

S.Korea 7 11>

Singapo +0.10 -2.4 <.st re i>

Taiwan -0.34 +1.5 <.tw ii>

Thailan +0.18 -11. <.se d ti>

(Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon




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