March 28, 2019 / 5:51 AM / 5 months ago

EM ASIA FX-Asia currencies mostly weaker on global growth concerns

    * Election uncertainty weighs on Thai baht
    * Malaysian cuts 2019 growth forecast 

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Nikhil Nainan
    March 28 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies weakened on
Thursday, hurt by a stronger U.S. dollar after more central
banks adopted dovish policy stances in response to a
deteriorating global economic outlook.
    The dollar index against a basket of six major
currencies strengthened 0.1 percent to 96.878, as its peers went
on the defensive. 
    The U.S. yield curve remained inverted, a phenomena that has
drubbed global markets in recent days. If it persists, the
inversion could indicate that a recession is likely in one to
two years.
    "The dollar has actually held up well, because other central
bank have out-doved the Fed," said Khoon Goh, the head of Asia
research for ANZ. 
    The Thai baht weakened 0.2 percent as the country
faces political uncertainty after a disputed election on Sunday.
Unofficial results are expected on Friday.
    Thailand's central bank said on Thursday it has not ruled
out a rate hike this year, but added the economy can meet its
growth forecast if political turmoil subsides.
    In Indonesia, the rupiah was on track for its weakest
month since October last year. It was down 0.3 percent on the
    Referring to Indonesia's trade deficit, ANZ's Goh said
"there is a tendency to see more dollar demand to the month-end
as corporates start to buy dollars for their import bills."
    Elsewhere, Malaysia's ringgit slipped 0.1 percent
to 4.075 a dollar after the central bank cut its economic growth
forecast for this year, citing slowing global growth and the
U.S.-China trade war.
    The Philippine peso bucked the overall weak trend,
edging higher to 52.7 per dollar. 
    India's rupee weakened 0.2 percent to 69.013 a
dollar. The unit has been supported by foreign inflows into
equity and bond markets ahead of a national election starting in
April and higher-yielding bonds relative to peers.
    The Reserve Bank of India is scheduled to meet next week and
is widely expected to cut rates. 
    "India is a different case where rate cuts tend to benefit
the currency unlike other central banks," Goh said, adding a
rate cut "should actually provide some support for the rupee
because of the FDI inflows into the equity market." 
 Change on the day at 0451 GMT                    
 Currency               Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
 Japan yen              110.180     110.51        +0.30
 Sing dlr               1.355       1.3551        +0.02
 Taiwan dlr             30.860      30.856        -0.01
 Korean won             1137.100    1134.5        -0.23
 Baht                   31.840      31.78         -0.19
 Peso                   52.700      52.77         +0.13
 Rupiah                 14225.000   14190         -0.25
 Rupee                  69.013      68.87         -0.21
 Ringgit                4.075       4.07          -0.12
 Yuan                   6.731       6.7265        -0.06
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Currency               Latest bid  End 2018      Pct Move
 Japan yen              110.180     109.56        -0.56
 Sing dlr               1.355       1.3627        +0.58
 Taiwan dlr             30.860      30.733        -0.41
 Korean won             1137.100    1115.70       -1.88
 Baht                   31.840      32.55         +2.23
 Peso                   52.700      52.47         -0.44
 Rupiah                 14225.000   14375         +1.05
 Rupee                  69.013      69.77         +1.10
 Ringgit                4.075       4.1300        +1.35
 Yuan                   6.731       6.8730        +2.12
 (Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; editing by
Darren Schuettler)
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