Friday, December 9

Most Asian currencies, stocks gain despite China’s COVID stance


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Most emerging Asian currencies rose on

Monday, even as China vowed to continue with its strict COVID-19

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containment strategy, with Indonesia’s rupiah rebounding from

the previous session’s losses and the South Korean won gaining

more than 1%.

Traders in the region hoped that Friday’s US jobs report,

which showed an uptick in the unemployment rate in October,

could offer some leeway for the Federal Reserve to downsize its

future rate hikes.

The South Korean won strengthened 1.3%, hitting

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its highest level in a month. The currency also led gains in the

region.

The Indonesian rupiah firmed 0.3% and stocks in

Jakarta recouped earlier losses to trade 0.2% higher,

after country’s economy expanded at its fastest pace in more

than a year, in the third quarter.

“We continue to expect BI (Bank Indonesia) to hike policy

rates by another 50 basis points (bps) in November before

slowing to a 25 bps/meeting pace starting in December, until the

policy rate reaches a terminal rate of 6.25% in Q2 2023,”

analysts at Goldman Sachs said.

The Thai baht added 0.2% to its highest since Oct.

6 as the country’s inflation rose 5.98% in October and

marginally missed analysts’ estimates. A senior commerce

official also forecast inflation to slow in the remainder of the

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year.

“Inflation eased further in October as energy costs

continued to slow while food prices finally showed signs of

peaking despite concerns on the impact of floods, Maybank

analysts said.

“We expect the Bank of Thailand to maintain its gradual

policy tightening, and hike by 25 basis points in the upcoming

meeting on Nov. 30,” they added.

The Malaysian ringgit inched 0.1% higher, but still

hovered over its 1998 lows.

The Philippine peso and Singapore dollar

underperformed their peers, sliding 0.3% each.

Meanwhile, the Chinese yuan softened 0.4% after

gaining over a percent in the previous session, while its stocks

edged 0.2% lower. Beijing denied it was considering

easing its zero COVID policy, further pushing the US dollar

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up.

The world’s second-largest economy also reported its highest

number of new COVID-19 infections in six months on Sunday and

Its October exports and imports missed expectations.

Stocks in Manila, led gains among Asian equities,

jumping 1.1%, with South Korean shares in close second,

rising 1%.

HIGHLIGHTS:

** China’s COVID resurgence spurs new curbs, Foxconn imposes

restrictions

** Palm jumps 1% on strong demand, China pandemic curbs

weigh

** Once again, Malaysia’s Anwar bids to become prime

minister

Asia stock indexes and currencies

at 0645 GMT

COUNTRY FX RIC FX FX INDE STOCKS STOCKS

DAILY % YTD % X DAILY YTD %

%

Japan -0.42 -21.8 <.n2>

China 3 EC>

India +0.30 -9.57 <.ns ei>

Indonesi +0.29 -9.18 <.jk a se>

Malaysia +0.08 -12.1 <.kl se>

Philippi -0.26 -12.7 <.ps nes i>

S.Korea 7 11>

Singapore -0.26 -4.12 <.st e i>

Taiwan +0.36 -13.7 <.tw ii>

Thailand +0.17 -10.7 <.se ti>

(Reporting by Jaskiran Singh in Bengaluru, additional reporting

by Navya Mittal; Editing by Stephen Coates and Uttaresh.V)

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