Edition:
United Kingdom

Shriya Ramakrishnan

UPDATE 2-Air New Zealand eyes further cost savings as profits dip 31%

22 Aug 2019

* FY 2020 earnings forecast NZ$350 mln to NZ$450 mln (Adds share price, CEO comments, bullet points)

UPDATE 2-Australia's Lendlease progresses E&S unit sale, positive on outlook

19 Aug 2019

* Shares rise on sale progress, positive outlook (Recasts, adds analyst and CEO quotes, share performance)

UPDATE 3-Australia's Blackmores changes tack in China as profit falls

15 Aug 2019

* FY profit falls 23.6% to A$53.5 mln vs A$59.9 mln analysts view

UPDATE 1-James Hardie flags higher earnings on improved U.S. housing outlook

09 Aug 2019

* Interest rate cuts may help U.S. and Australia housing markets (Recasts throughout, adds U.S., Australia market details, analyst comment)

UPDATE 2-Australia's competition regulator sues Optus again over broadband switch

27 Jun 2019

* Optus acknowledges ACCC action, "it's a mistake" (Adds Optus response, context)

Australia's Domino's Pizza sued for underpaying staff, shares slide

25 Jun 2019

Australia's Domino's Pizza Enterprises was hit on Tuesday by a class-action lawsuit over employee underpayment which the fast-food chain said it would defend itself against, but its shares fell more than 6% to a four-year low.

REFILE-UPDATE 3-Major miners reveal tailings dam data, action plans following disasters

07 Jun 2019

June 7 Global miners BHP Group, Anglo American Plc and Glencore Plc revealed details on tailings dams, months after ethical investors sought the information following a second deadly dam disaster in Brazil.

EM ASIA FX-Thai baht, China's yuan strengthen as U.S. tariff hike kicks in

10 May 2019

* Trump's tariffs hike come into effect * Thai baht at 1-1/2 month high * S. Korean won snaps two sessions of declines (Adds text, updates prices) By Shriya Ramakrishnan May 10 Most emerging Asian currencies rose on Friday, helped by a range of factors and amid cautious support for regional markets on hopes Beijing and Washington might be able to strike a trade deal, despite U.S. tariff hikes taking effect. The Thai baht made gains, helped by emerging clarity about the winner of the Southeast Asian nation's first election since the 2014 military coup. While Washington's threatened tariff increase on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods took effect, investors took some comfort from the fact that Sino-U.S. negotiations this week had not fallen apart. However, investor sentiment remains fragile. "The only good news here is that China stays for talks on Friday. The fact talks were only 90 minutes suggest there was little movement on both sides. The talks Friday will probably focus on how to get talks back on track," Allan von Mehren, chief analyst at Danske Bank, wrote in a research note. China's yuan strengthened 0.3% against the greenback, despite China's central bank setting the midpoint of the currency's daily trading band at its weakest level in 3-1/2 months before the market open. U.S. and Chinese officials will return to the negotiating table later on Friday. South Korea's won snapped two sessions of losses to strengthen 0.2% on the day, having received some support from central bank intervention, which was suspected of selling dollars to curb the unit's fall, according to traders. South Korea's financial minister said it will respond to volatility stemming from U.S.-China trade talks and monitor currency movement around the clock. A Reuters poll showed that short positions on the won, the worst performing currency in the region this year, were at their highest since January 2016, as a slew of weak economic data has heavily weighed on the unit. Meanwhile, the Philippine peso strengthened 0.2% on the day. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, cut its benchmark interest rate on Thursday for the first time since October 2012, on expectations inflation will ease after the economy grew at its slowest pace in four years in the first quarter. The central bank maintained banks' reserve requirement ratio (RRR) at 18 percent, but Governor Benjamin Diokno said it would be discussed next week, without elaborating. Bucking the regional trend, the Indonesian rupiah declined for a third straight session and was on track to record a weekly loss of 0.7%. Indonesia's current account deficit narrowed in the first quarter to the smallest in a year, helping the country to post a balance of payments surplus, but some economists say this would not trigger an interest rate cut by the central bank. THAI BAHT The Thai baht strengthened 0.4% on the day to its best level against the greenback since March 26. "The baht is being supported by clarity on the election outcome even though concerns remain in the medium term, as the new government is made of many small parties," Christopher Wong, a senior FX Strategist at Maybank said. Long-delayed results of Thailand's first election since a 2014 military coup released on Wednesday produced no clear winner but gave a pro-army party a clear advantage in its bid to install the current junta leader as an elected prime minister. The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against the dollar at 0642 GMT. CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move Japan yen 109.770 109.75 -0.02 Sing dlr 1.363 1.3643 +0.12 Taiwan dlr 30.947 30.956 +0.03 Korean won 1177.000 1179.8 +0.24 Baht 31.640 31.7725 +0.42 Peso 52.140 52.25 +0.21 Rupiah 14350.000 14345 -0.03 Rupee 69.895 69.94 +0.06 Ringgit 4.154 4.152 -0.05 Yuan 6.806 6.8255 +0.29 Change so far in 2019 Currency Latest bid End 2018 Pct Move Japan yen 109.770 109.56 -0.19 Sing dlr 1.363 1.3627 +0.01 Taiwan dlr 30.947 30.733 -0.69 Korean won 1177.000 1115.70 -5.21 Baht 31.640 32.55 +2.88 Peso 52.140 52.47 +0.63 Rupiah 14350.000 14375 +0.17 Rupee 69.895 69.77 -0.18 Ringgit 4.154 4.1300 -0.58 Yuan 6.806 6.8730 +0.99 (Reporting by Shriya Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sam Holmes)

Most Asian currencies slide on trade jitters

09 May 2019

Most emerging Asian currencies weakened on Thursday, with the South Korean won sliding to a more than two-year low as concerns about an escalation in trade tensions ahead of crucial U.S.-China talks hit exporter currencies.

EM ASIA FX-Most Asian currencies weaken as worries on U.S.-China trade talks rise

08 May 2019

* Yuan ends a four-day losing streak * Thai baht strengthens ahead of c.bank meeting * China April exports contract, while imports rise (Adds text, updates prices) By Shriya Ramakrishnan May 8 Most emerging Asian currencies weakened on Wednesday, as fresh doubts about whether the United States and China can end their trade war rekindled worries about global growth. Beijing said on Tuesday that Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will travel to Washington for two days of talks starting on Thursday, setting up a last-ditch bid for a deal that would avoid a sharp increase in tariffs on Chinese goods ordered by U.S. President Donald Trump. The higher tariffs are scheduled to take effect on Friday, when Liu would be in Washington. The South Korean won on Wednesday weakened as much as 0.5 percent to 1,172.50 against the dollar. South Korea's finance minister flagged increasing downside risks for his country, a further sign of weakness for Asia's fourth largest economy following a sharp contraction in first quarter growth and sluggish exports. Sim Moh Siong, an FX strategist at Bank of Singapore, said sentiment in Asia is "still one of wariness that if trade tensions escalate, there could be a further round of weakness in Asian currencies". "Markets are trying to make out whether we are likely to see a replay of a tale of two halves or is everything going to collapse into a situation where it is not quite clear whether the U.S. dollar will emerge as the winner if the trade war escalates." The Indian rupee weakened 0.3 percent to its lowest level in more than a week, while the Indonesian rupiah declined 0.2 percent. Data released on Wednesday showed China's exports unexpectedly shrank in April but imports surprised with their first increase in five months, painting a mixed picture of the health of the Chinese economy. However, the yuan snapped four days of losses to edge up against the dollar, supported by a rise in corporate dollar selling after China's central bank set a firmer midpoint. The Thai baht, bucking the regional trend, strengthened 0.4 percent to its best level in three weeks, ahead of a central bank meeting that is widely expected to keep the benchmark rate unchanged for a third straight review. The Philippine peso edged lower, ahead of Thursday's release of first quarter growth data and a central bank decision. With inflation slowing for a sixth consecutive month in April, there are growing expectations that Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas will ease monetary policy. SINGAPORE DOLLAR The Singapore dollar appreciated 0.2 percent against the dollar on the day. "The Singapore dollar is a safe haven currency in Southeast Asia and so there is definitely some demand due to the tremendous uncertainties around U.S.-China trade negotiations," Margaret Yang Yan, a market analyst at CMC Markets said. Singapore's central bank said on Wednesday it would disclose more information on the actions it takes to implement monetary policy, including releasing data on foreign exchange intervention every six months. The Monetary Authority of Singapore manages policy through exchange rate settings rather than interest rates. The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against the dollar at 0521 GMT. CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR Change on the day at 0521 GMT Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move Japan yen 109.990 110.24 +0.23 Sing dlr 1.360 1.3626 +0.16 Taiwan dlr 30.912 30.911 -0.00 Korean won 1168.900 1166.5 -0.21 Baht 31.770 31.89 +0.38 Peso 52.020 52.01 -0.02 Rupiah 14308.000 14275 -0.23 Rupee 69.605 69.43 -0.26 Ringgit 4.146 4.147 +0.02 Yuan 6.771 6.7780 +0.11 Change so far in 2019 Currency Latest bid End 2018 Pct Move Japan yen 109.990 109.56 -0.39 Sing dlr 1.360 1.3627 +0.17 Taiwan dlr 30.912 30.733 -0.58 Korean won 1168.900 1115.70 -4.55 Baht 31.770 32.55 +2.46 Peso 52.020 52.47 +0.87 Rupiah 14308.000 14375 +0.47 Rupee 69.605 69.77 +0.24 Ringgit 4.146 4.1300 -0.39 Yuan 6.771 6.8730 +1.51 (Reporting by Shriya Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru)

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