Friday, May 27

Malaysia’s ringgit, stocks slip as investors eye oil release


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The Malaysian ringgit and stocks led

losses among emerging Asian markets on Monday, despite a rise in

oil prices as investors kept a watchful eye on the International

Energy Agency’s (IEA) plan to follow the United States in

releasing oil reserves.

The ringgit eased 0.2% and was on track for its worst

session since March 22, while equities in Kuala Lumpur

fell 0.3%.

Other regional currencies such as the South Korean won

and the Thai baht also fell slightly. The

Philippines peso, however, rose 0.2%.

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The IEA agreed last week to release more oil, joining the

largest-ever US oil reserves release, to counter supply

constraints from the Russia-Ukraine war, while a truce in Yemen

could further ease supply disruption.

“While the fall in crude oil prices has dragged the ringgit

lower now, it is expected to further weaken against the dollar

as we anticipate the US Federal Reserve to hike interest rates

by 50 basis points in the next few policy meetings,” said Chang

Wei Liang, macro strategist (FX and credit) at DBS Bank.

Markets expect the Fed to strike hawkish tones at public

events this week as a jump in short-dated Treasury bond

yields and further inversion of the yield curve

raised risks of a possible recession.

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The yield on Indonesia’s 10-year bonds, among

the highest in the region, was roughly unchanged at 6.745%,

while yields on Singapore’s benchmark bonds rose to

2.370%.

Singapore’s central bank is likely to tighten policy at its

review this month, the third time in a row, as inflationary

pressures intensify due to global supply-side disruptions and an

easing of the city-state’s border controls.

Other regional central banks in the Philippines, Thailand

and Indonesia had all left interest rates unchanged last month.

Most equities in the region were mixed as investors placed

cautious bets on the probability of more sanctions against

Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

Ukrainian authorities accused Russian forces of war crimes

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near Kyiv, inviting more scrutiny and possible sanctions from

the West against Russia over its invasion, which it calls a

“special operation.”

Stocks in the Philippines were down 0.2%, though

Thailand’s SETI index and South Korean shares

edged higher.

Markets in China and Taiwan were closed for a holiday.

HIGHLIGHTS:

** Malaysian ringgit leads losses among Asian FX

**IOI Corp, Public Bank and Top Glove

Corp top losers on Malaysia index, down

between 1.7% and 1.1%

** South Korea benchmark bond yield at 8-yr high

Asia stock indexes and

currencies at 0530 GMT

COUNTRY FX RIC FX FX INDE STOCKS STOCKS

DAILY % YTD % X DAILY YTD %

%

Japan -0.13 -6.17 <.n2>

India +0.18 -1.75 <.ns ei>

Indonesi +0.01 -0.79 <.jk a se>

Malaysia -0.21 -1.26 <.kl se>

Philippi +0.18 -0.85 <.ps nes i>

S.Korea 11>

Singapore -0.05 -0.58 <.st e i>

Thailand -0.09 -0.24 <.se ti>

(Reporting by Tejaswi Marthi in Bengaluru; Editing by

Jacqueline Wong)

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