March 26, 2019 / 5:38 AM / 4 months ago

EM ASIA FX-Asia FX edges up as recession talk abates

    * Thai baht slips after poor data
    * Rupee set for best month of gains since Nov 2018

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Nikhil Nainan
    March 26 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies were in positive
territory on Tuesday but sentiment remained fragile as investors
reassessed risks to global economic growth, while the baht
slipped after poor data.  
    Global markets recoiled on Monday in the wake of an
inversion in the U.S. Treasury yield curve, which has signalled
a recession in the past.
    The U.S. dollar rebounded modestly against the yen on
Tuesday as Treasury yields pulled back from 15-month
lows.
    While regional currencies saw marginal gains, ING cited
several reasons for further optimism. 
    In a note, ING Chief Economist for Asia-Pacific Robert
Carnell cited a dollar off its highs for the year, the U.S.
Federal Reserve's dovish shift in policy, and the "moderately
positive" outlook for talks to end a U.S.-China trade war.
    South Korea's won was the best performer, up 0.2
percent to 1,132 per dollar. 
    India's rupee strengthened to 68.815 per dollar, on
track for its best month of gains since November last year. 
    Mizuho Bank said in a note it expected India's current
account deficit for the fourth quarter due this week to decline
significantly, reflecting a sharp drop in crude oil prices since
late last year. 
    While a decline in the deficit could support the rupee,
Mizuho said oil prices have since bounced off their lows and are
trending upward, which would limit a sustained deficit
reduction.  
    Elsewhere, Indonesia's rupiah and the Philippine peso
 gained 0.1 percent each. 
       
    BAHT GIVES UP MARGINAL GAINS AFTER DATA  
    The Thai baht weakened 0.2 percent to 31.63, after
factory output data for February unexpectedly dropped 1.6
percent, compared to a Reuters poll forecasting a 0.5 percent
rise.
    The unit, which gained on Monday, was thrown into disarray
after two opposition parties alleged cheating in the country's
first election since a military coup in 2014.
    The results remained unclear after the Election Commission
said the winners of the remaining 150 lower house seats may be
announced only on Friday, while a final announcement is expected
on May 9. 
    "Yesterday's inconclusive Thai election results are likely
to remain a focus while we await the apportioning of the 150
party seats," ING said. 
        
CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
 Change on the day at 0441 GMT                    
 Currency               Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
 Japan yen              110.080     109.95        -0.12
 Sing dlr               1.349       1.3497        +0.02
 Taiwan dlr             30.830      30.830        +0.00
 Korean won             1132.000    1134.2        +0.19
 Baht                   31.630      31.58         -0.16
 Peso                   52.410      52.46         +0.10
 Rupiah                 14160.000   14175         +0.11
 Rupee                  68.815      68.93         +0.17
 Ringgit                4.064       4.067         +0.07
 Yuan                   6.709       6.7090        0.00
                                                  
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Currency               Latest bid  End 2018      Pct Move
 Japan yen              110.080     109.56        -0.47
 Sing dlr               1.349       1.3627        +0.99
 Taiwan dlr             30.830      30.733        -0.31
 Korean won             1132.000    1115.70       -1.44
 Baht                   31.630      32.55         +2.91
 Peso                   52.410      52.47         +0.11
 Rupiah                 14160.000   14375         +1.52
 Rupee                  68.815      69.77         +1.39
 Ringgit                4.064       4.1300        +1.62
 Yuan                   6.709       6.8730        +2.44
 

 (Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; editing by
Darren Schuettler)
  
 
 
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