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Ambar Warrick

UPDATE 2-Aussie car dealer AP Eagers offers to buy Automotive Holdings

05 Apr 2019

* Offer at 8 pct premium to Automotive's Thursday close (Adds Automotive Holdings' response, share movement)

EM ASIA FX-Asian units rise as trade war reports boost risk appetites

03 Apr 2019

* Philippine peso leads gains, at strongest level since March 12 * Indian rupee at 2-week high ahead of interest rate decision (Adds details, updates prices) By Ambar Warrick April 3 Most Asian currencies firmed on Wednesday as reports of headway in Sino-U.S. trade talks and easing U.S. bond yields prompted buying of regional risk assets. The Financial Times reported that top officials from Washington and Beijing had resolved most of the issues standing in the way of an agreement. Lower U.S. Treasury yields, plus a slightly weaker dollar and yen, also encouraged stronger risk appetites in Asia. Gao Qi, a forex strategist at Scotiabank, said that given the fears of a global economic slowdown, regional currencies are likely to have near-term gains from reflation policies by major central banks, which could mean "continued portfolio inflows to EM Asia". The Philippine peso was Wednesday's biggest gainer, adding as much as 0.63 percent against the dollar to 52.110, its strongest level since March 12. The central banks of Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines on Friday will sign an agreement on cooperation to promote trade and investment through local currencies, in a bid to trim exposure to volatile global markets. The Thai baht was largely flat against the dollar. Minutes of the March 20 central bank meeting, released on Wednesday, showed that any further policy tightening would be gradual and dependent on economic performance. In December, the Bank of Thailand raised its benchmark rate for the first time in more than seven years, by 25 basis points to 1.75 percent. The Chinese yuan traded about 0.21 percent higher. The currency, which has been especially sensitive to any news from the trade front, lost more than 5 percent in 2018 due to trade tensions with the U.S. Indonesian markets were closed on Wednesday for a public holiday. INDIAN RUPEE The Indian rupee rose as much as 0.46 percent to a two-week high against the dollar, ahead of a central bank interest rate decision on Thursday. The Reserve Bank of India is likely to cut by 25 basis points, though some analysts believing the country's weakening economic growth and subdued inflation outlook warrant a larger reduction. A Reuters poll saw more than 85 percent of respondents expecting a cut. The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against the dollar on Wednesday. CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR Change on the day at 0623 GMT Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move Japan yen 111.450 111.31 -0.13 Sing dlr 1.353 1.3548 +0.13 Taiwan dlr 30.804 30.843 +0.13 Korean won 1135.100 1136.4 +0.11 Baht 31.750 31.76 +0.03 Peso 52.140 52.44 +0.58 Rupee 68.460 68.75 +0.42 Ringgit 4.079 4.083 +0.11 Yuan 6.709 6.7225 +0.21 Change so far in 2019 Currency Latest bid End 2018 Pct Move Japan yen 111.450 109.56 -1.70 Sing dlr 1.353 1.3627 +0.71 Taiwan dlr 30.804 30.733 -0.23 Korean won 1135.100 1115.70 -1.71 Baht 31.750 32.55 +2.52 Peso 52.140 52.47 +0.63 Rupee 68.460 69.77 +1.91 Ringgit 4.079 4.1300 +1.26 Yuan 6.709 6.8730 +2.45 (Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

EM ASIA FX-Asian currencies slip on higher U.S. bond yields, oil prices

02 Apr 2019

* Stronger dollar, bond yields steer funds away from Asia * Indian rupee, Philippine peso dented by oil import costs * South Korean won weakens as inflation rate slows (Adds details, updates prices) By Ambar Warrick April 2 Emerging Asian currencies softened on Tuesday as optimism over the U.S. economy, along with a rise in the dollar and bond yields, increased investor interest in developed markets. Currencies of countries with hefty oil imports, such as the Indian rupee, Philippine peso and Indonesian rupiah, were also hurt by crude prices reaching a 2019 peak. Asian markets had strengthened on Monday after encouraging China factory surveys hinted that domestic stimulus easing some of the pressure from its trade war with the U.S. Overnight, an uptick in American manufacturing data saw U.S. bond yields and the dollar move higher. Mizuho Bank's Vishnu Varathan said in a note that the positive data "helped to assuage fears of a deep recession." But he took a cautionary tone, adding "the trouble with silver linings is that the clouds have yet to lift, even if bets mount on the sunshine behind. So EM Asia optimism may be measured, not manic." At 0455 GMT Tuesday, the Chinese yuan was down about 0.12 percent to the dollar. The People's Bank of China set a slightly weaker mid-point for the day, compared to Monday's close. The yuan has gained about 2.3 percent this year. The Indonesian rupiah weakened 0.11 percent against the dollar. While a spike in oil prices usually hurts the rupiah, given the country's large oil bill, there has been encouraging economic data recently, including February's surprise trade surplus and a March inflation rate below the Indonesian central bank's target. The South Korean won declined 0.29 percent versus the dollar, as inflation for March slowed to its weakest pace since July 2016. South Korea's central bank chief on Monday clarified that it was not in a hurry to ease policy further, contrary to expectations in the bond market. INDIAN RUPEE, PHILIPPINE PESO Oil prices were spurred by demand prospects and supply disruptions to their highest since November 2018. The Indian rupee fell about 0.20 percent and the Philippine peso declined 0.25 percent. Both currencies are especially sensitive to oil prices given their vast current account deficits, a large portion of which comes from oil imports. Voting in Indian elections begins this month and a budget impasse in the Philippines are expected to weigh on the respective currencies in the near-term. The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against the dollar as at 0455 GMT. Change on the day at 0455 GMT Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move Japan yen 111.340 111.34 +0.00 Sing dlr 1.356 1.3545 -0.09 Taiwan dlr 30.842 30.801 -0.13 Korean won 1137.000 1133.7 -0.29 Baht 31.750 31.71 -0.13 Peso 52.500 52.37 -0.25 Rupiah 14235.000 14220 -0.11 Rupee 69.290 69.15 -0.20 Ringgit 4.082 4.079 -0.07 Yuan 6.721 6.7125 -0.12 Change so far in 2019 Currency Latest bid End 2018 Pct Move Japan yen 111.340 109.56 -1.60 Sing dlr 1.356 1.3627 +0.52 Taiwan dlr 30.842 30.733 -0.35 Korean won 1137.000 1115.70 -1.87 Baht 31.750 32.55 +2.52 Peso 52.500 52.47 -0.06 Rupiah 14235.000 14375 +0.98 Rupee 69.290 69.77 +0.69 Ringgit 4.082 4.1300 +1.18 Yuan 6.721 6.8730 +2.26 (Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

Australian shares bolstered by miners; NZ inches up to record high

18 Mar 2019

March 18 Australian shares rose on Monday as stronger commodity prices lifted iron ore miners and gains on Wall Street boosted investor confidence.

Australian shares hit by ECB's surprise reversal; NZ at record high

08 Mar 2019

March 8 Australian shares pulled back on Friday as financials and miners lost ground after a surprising dovish turn by the European Central Bank inflamed concerns about the state of the global economy.

BHP, Rio Tinto weigh on Australian shares; NZ slightly up

07 Mar 2019

March 7 Australian shares rose on Thursday, led by financials, but gains were pared by losses in mining stocks after a number of index heavyweights traded ex-dividend.

Australian, NZ shares rise in thin trade on China optimism

06 Mar 2019

March 6 Australian shares rose on Wednesday, as mining stocks climbed on the prospect of increased Chinese stimulus although investors remained cautious with trading volumes thin as the benchmark approached a decade high.

Australian, NZ shares retreat on profit taking, weak U.S. lead

05 Mar 2019

March 5 Australian shares traded lower on Tuesday as investors locked in profits after a series of strong gains, while a weak lead-in from U.S. equities also dampened appetite.

Australia shares rally, NZ at record-high on China-U.S. trade deal optimism

04 Mar 2019

March 4 Australian shares rose to a more than five-month high on Monday, buoyed by reports that China and the United States were close to striking a deal to end their bitter year-long trade war that had unsettled financial markets and dented global growth.

SE Asia Stocks-Philippines leads losses as all fall; Vietnam outperforms for week

15 Feb 2019

* Softer China inflation sullies risk appetite * Singapore, Indonesia drop after disappointing data * Vietnam clocks near 5 pct weekly gain By Ambar Warrick Feb 15 Philippines led falls across Southeast Asian stock markets, which ended lower on Friday following a string of disappointing economic data in the region, amid continued focus on U.S.-China trade talks. Softer inflation data from China sullied risk appetite as investors fretted over weakening demand from the region's biggest trading partner. Locally, Singapore saw weaker than expected fourth-quarter GDP growth, while Indonesia's trade deficit widened. The Philippine index ended about 1 percent down at a 1-month low, with financial stocks leading broader losses. The index lost for four out of five days this week, and shed 2 percent in the period. BDO Unibank ended nearly 5 percent lower, and was the biggest drag on the benchmark. Thai markets ended nearly 1 percent lower in broad-based losses ahead of the country's fourth-quarter economic data on Monday. A Reuters poll saw the country's GDP likely picking up for the quarter, although a number participants saw growth slowing in 2019. Singapore's stock index closed 0.4 percent down in mostly broad based losses, although consumer stocks lent some support. Thai Beverage closed around 13 percent higher after its first quarter net profit more than doubled. The index gained about 1.2 percent for the week, with banks seeing heavy buying ahead of their results next week. Singapore's banks, such as DBS Group and United Overseas Bank are among the largest in Southeast Asia, and are usually bought for their reliable returns. Investors also awaited Singapore's 2019 budget, due on Monday. The Indonesian benchmark ended 0.5 percent lower, with all sectors barring telecom and financial stocks in the red. An index of the country's 45 most liquid stocks closed about 0.6 percent down. The Vietnam index snapped a four-day rally and ended about 0.2 percent down, but outperformed regional peers for the week with a near 5 percent gain. Increased liquidity at the start of the year is beneficial to the country's index, which has outpaced its regional peers this year. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3239.74 3253.16 -0.41 Bangkok 1636.94 1652.64 -0.95 Manila 7908.89 7991.25 -1.03 Jakarta 6389.085 6420.018 -0.48 Kuala Lumpur 1688.83 1689.06 -0.01 Ho Chi Minh 950.89 952.34 -0.15 Change on year Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3239.74 3068.76 5.57 Bangkok 1636.94 1563.88 4.67 Manila 7908.89 7466.02 5.93 Jakarta 6389.085 6194.498 3.14 Kuala Lumpur 1688.83 1690.58 -0.10 Ho Chi Minh 950.89 892.54 6.54 (Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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