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Patturaja Murugaboopathy

EM ASIA FX-Most Asian currencies firm on dollar weakness, trade hopes

17 Oct 2019

(Adds text, updates prices) By Patturaja Murugaboopathy Oct 17 Most Asian currencies strengthened on Thursday due to overnight weakness in dollar after a fall in U.S. retail sales, while lingering hopes of a Sino-U.S. trade deal also lent support to the export-reliant regional units. The Taiwanese dollar led the gains in the region, followed by the South Korean won and the Malaysian ringgit. "We still see some net risk-on sentiment supporting the Asian currencies in general. We have positive news coming out from Brexit. And in Asia, regarding the Sino-U.S. trade situation, it is still very much on the holding pattern," said Terence Wu, a currency strategist at OCBC Bank. "Even though people are starting to reach some suspicions over whether a deal will be signed eventually in the APAC meeting, at this point there are no clear signals that it is breaking up." The dollar index was trading flat at 98.005, hovering near a four-week low of 97.898 it touched in the previous session. Analysts said regional currencies also firmed on rising expectations on an interest rate cut by the U.S. Federal Reserve this month. The bets further strengthened after data released on Wednesday showed U.S. retail sales falling for the first time seven months in September. Indian rupee and the Indonesian rupiah,the two high yielding currencies, also strengthened on the day due to a sharp fall in U.S. bond yields. On the other hand, China's yuan edged lower against the U.S. dollar after the central bank set a weaker daily reference rate for the currency. INDIAN RUPEE The Indian rupee rose 0.16% against the dollar on Thursday helped by weaker oil prices, lower U.S. bond yields and strong domestic equities. However, some analysts said falling real yields of Indian bonds could affect the rupee, along with other concerns such as fiscal deficit and lower liquidity in the banking system. India's real yields have fallen nearly 200 basis points since the start of this year, according to Refinitiv data. Real yields are nominal yields adjusted for inflation. "Rupee could suffer the double whammy of growth dent as well as pressures from capital pulling out of equities in response to downbeat growth prospects," said Vishnu Varathan, head of economics and strategy for Mizuho Bank in Singapore in a note. The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against the dollar at 0513 GMT. CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR Change on the day at 0513 GMT Currency Latest Previou Pct bid s day Move Japan yen 108.75 108.75 +0.00 0 Sing dlr 1.369 1.3700 +0.11 Taiwan dlr 30.664 30.722 +0.19 Korean won 1186.4 1187.8 +0.12 00 Baht 30.365 30.39 +0.08 Peso 51.420 51.51 +0.18 Rupiah 14160. 14164 +0.03 000 Rupee 71.400 71.44 +0.05 Ringgit 4.186 4.1935 +0.18 Yuan 7.098 7.0950 -0.04 Change so far in 2019 Currency Latest End Pct bid 2018 Move Japan yen 108.75 109.56 +0.74 0 Sing dlr 1.369 1.3627 -0.42 Taiwan dlr 30.664 30.733 +0.23 Korean won 1186.4 1115.70 -5.96 00 Baht 30.365 32.55 +7.20 Peso 51.420 52.47 +2.04 Rupiah 14160. 14375 +1.52 000 Rupee 71.400 69.77 -2.28 Ringgit 4.186 4.1300 -1.34 Yuan 7.098 6.8730 -3.17 (Reporting By Patturaja Murugaboopathy; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

EM ASIA FX-Most Asian currencies fall as Hong Kong spat adds to global trade fears

16 Oct 2019

(Adds commentary, updates prices) By Patturaja Murugaboopathy Oct 16 Most Asian currencies fell on Wednesday on fresh worries about China-U.S. ties as political unrest in Hong Kong became a new flashpoint in strained relations between the world's two largest economies, knocking appetite for regional units. The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday passed new measures related to pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, which would require the U.S. secretary of state to certify every year the Hong Kong was retaining its autonomy. The legislation would damage China's relationship with the United States if it becomes law, China's foreign ministry said on Wednesday, adding to the stress of already difficult trade negotiations between Washington and Beijing. "Final passage of the bill would draw the ire of the Chinese government and probably reduce any chances of a U.S. China trade deal, even a mini one," said MUFG Bank in a report. "This outcome would be negative for financial markets and have more negative implications for global trade, particularly Asia-ex Japan." Hong Kong has been rocked by massive marches and at times violent protests involving teargas, petrol bombs and live rounds, over concerns Beijing is tightening its grip on the city and eroding democratic rights. Beijing rejects the charge and accuses Western countries, like the United States and Britain, of stirring up trouble. Also weighing on sentiment was waning optimism about a breakthrough in U.S.-China trade negotiations with earlier news about both sides reaching a first phase of a new deal failing to yield any concrete details. Bloomberg reported that China would struggle to buy $50 billion of U.S. farm goods annually unless it removes retaliatory tariffs on American products, which would require reciprocal action by U.S. President Donald Trump. China's yuan fell 0.2% on Wednesday after its central bank set the midpoint at its weakest level since Sept. 12, 38 pips lesser than Reuters' estimate of 7.0708. "This USDCNY fix was telling, as it serves to reinforce the message of potential retaliation should the US Congress continues to act in support of Hong Kong protesters," Maybank said in a note. The Indian rupee also dropped on worries over its economy after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut its growth projection to 6.1% from 7% on concerns over corporate and regulatory uncertainty. The U.S.-China trade war will cut 2019 global growth to its slowest pace since the 2008-2009 financial crisis, the IMF warned, but said output would rebound if their duelling tariffs were removed. The South Korean won lost 0.24% against the dollar after its central bank cut its policy interest rate in efforts to prop up the slowing economy and flagged the likelihood of further easing. The Malaysian ringgit fell on worries that India, the biggest buyer of Malaysian palm oil so far in 2019, could raise import taxes or enforce other measures to curb imports from Malaysia. India's government was angered after Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said last month at the United Nations that India had "invaded and occupied" Jammu and Kashmir and asked New Delhi to work with Pakistan to resolve the issue. The Philippine peso and Indonesian rupiah also fell sharply on the day. The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against the dollar at 0533 GMT. CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR Change on the day at 0533 GMT Currency Latest Previou Pct bid s day Move Japan yen 108.66 108.84 +0.17 0 Sing dlr 1.372 1.3705 -0.08 Taiwan dlr 30.670 30.686 +0.05 Korean won 1187.8 1185.2 -0.22 00 Baht 30.400 30.35 -0.16 Peso 51.660 51.59 -0.14 Rupiah 14175. 14160 -0.11 000 Rupee 71.500 71.54 +0.06 Ringgit 4.193 4.189 -0.10 Yuan 7.095 7.0819 -0.19 Change so far in 2019 Currency Latest End Pct bid 2018 Move Japan yen 108.66 109.56 +0.83 0 Sing dlr 1.372 1.3627 -0.65 Taiwan dlr 30.670 30.733 +0.21 Korean won 1187.8 1115.70 -6.07 00 Baht 30.400 32.55 +7.07 Peso 51.660 52.47 +1.57 Rupiah 14175. 14375 +1.41 000 Rupee 71.500 69.77 -2.42 Ringgit 4.193 4.1300 -1.50 Yuan 7.095 6.8730 -3.13 (Reporting By Patturaja Murugaboopathy)

EM ASIA FX-Asian currencies firm on signs of U.S.-China breakthrough

14 Oct 2019

* Asian units firm on trade optimism * Taiwan dollar, S.Korean won lead gains * China's yuan rise against the dollar, despite weak trade data (Adds text, updates prices) By Patturaja Murugaboopathy Oct 14 Asian currencies rose on Monday after the United States and China signalled progress in their trade negotiations, which lifted investor sentiment and prompted a hunt for risk assets such as emerging market pairs. The improved mood supported currencies of trade-reliant economies, specifically the Taiwan dollar and the South Korean won, which led regional gains. U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday outlined the first phase of a deal to end a trade war with China and suspended a threatened tariff hike on $250 billion in Chinese imports that was set to take effect from Tuesday. However, he did not revoke any of the existing tariffs on Chinese goods. According to Trump, the phase-1 trade deal would cover agriculture, currency and some aspects of intellectual property protections. Most Asian currencies have been severely hit since the onset of the trade war between the world's two biggest economies last year, as higher U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods slowed the regional economies as a whole, with many countries playing a major part of the supply chain to China's exports. "The partial deal between U.S. and China should temporarily boost sentiment, remove some of the depreciation pressure on CNH and provide relative support for Asia ex-Japan currencies, including the South Korean won and Taiwan dollar," said Saktiandi Supaat, head of FX research at Maybank in a note. "The actual signing of the agreement is still four to five weeks away and past experience suggests there is still room for disappointment." The Taiwan dollar and the South Korean won led the regional currencies, each rising more than 0.5% against the greenback. The Taiwan dollar, in fact, touched a more than one-year high of 30.61 to the dollar. China's yuan, also jumped to a two-month high against the dollar despite its recent trade data showed slowing exports and imports, pointing to a further weakness in the economy. The Indian rupee and the Philippine peso also gained over 0.25% each on Monday. SINGAPORE DOLLAR The Singapore dollar gained 0.28% against the dollar on Monday. The Sino-U.S. trade optimism boosted the export reliant nation's currency, despite data showing its economy grew less than expected in the third quarter on an annualised basis. However, the economy avoided slipping into a technical recession, preliminary data showed on Monday. In a statement, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said it would lower slightly the slope of the Singapore dollar's policy band, while the width and centre of the band would not be changed. "The rationale for easing is clear: subdued core inflation and weaker economic growth with output below potential. Overall, we think MAS is keeping its option open to more easing ahead," said MUFG Bank in a report. The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against the dollar at 0533 GMT. CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR Change on the day at 0533 GMT Currency Latest Previou Pct bid s day Move Japan yen 108.33 108.4 +0.06 0 Sing dlr 1.369 1.3725 +0.27 Taiwan dlr 30.580 30.850 +0.88 Korean won 1183.5 1188.8 +0.45 00 Peso 51.450 51.6 +0.29 Rupiah 14110. 14123 +0.09 000 Rupee 70.868 71.02 +0.22 Ringgit 4.178 4.184 +0.14 Yuan 7.055 7.0890 +0.48 *Thai markets are closed for holiday Change so far in 2019 Currency Latest End Pct bid 2018 Move Japan yen 108.33 109.56 +1.14 0 Sing dlr 1.369 1.3627 -0.45 Taiwan dlr 30.580 30.733 +0.50 Korean won 1183.5 1115.70 -5.73 00 Baht 30.410 32.55 +7.04 Peso 51.450 52.47 +1.98 Rupiah 14110. 14375 +1.88 000 Rupee 70.868 69.77 -1.55 Ringgit 4.178 4.1300 -1.15 Yuan 7.055 6.8730 -2.58 (Reporting By Patturaja Murugaboopathy; Graphic by Gaurav Dogra; Editing by Sam Holmes)

Taiwan, India lure foreign money in September, but other Asian markets see sharp outflows

07 Oct 2019

India and Taiwan equities received strong foreign inflows in September due to some local factors, but other regional markets saw outflows on concerns over the U.S.-China trade war and slowing economic growth.

Asia seeks ways to cope with trade war's hit to China demand

25 Sep 2019

Asian countries are looking for catalysts beyond China to drive their economies as the Sino-U.S. trade war forces Chinese demand for their exports to shrink.

Investing green is all the rage, but benchmarks still hazy

13 Sep 2019

SYDNEY Global money managers and companies are rushing to meet a deadline to report on their carbon footprint, but the lack of a standard metric raises concerns their efforts could just be a box-ticking exercise in the transition from brown to green.

Asian shares see heavy foreign sell-off in August as trade war bites

06 Sep 2019

Foreigners turned net sellers of Asian equities in August as sentiment worsened with the United States and China, after a brief truce, announcing new tariffs on each other.

Asian shares see heavy foreign sell-off in Aug as trade war bites

06 Sep 2019

* Asian shares start Sept up on hopes for US-China trade talks

Foreign investors offload Asian equities as Sino-U.S. trade war flares

07 Aug 2019

Foreign investors dumped Asian equities in the first six days of August after two months of buying, as the United States ramped up pressure on China with a $300 billion trade barrage last week.

Asian firms cut capex, weakening outlook for demand and jobs

26 Jul 2019

Asian firms have cut back capital spending this year, and that means a recovery in regional earnings, jobs and overall demand could take a while.

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