Asian currencies subdued ahead of China GDP data, trade deal worries
By Shriya Ramakrishnan
April 16 () - Emerging Asian currencies weakened on Tuesday, as uncertainty crept back over U.S.-China trade negotiations following comments from U.S. President Donald Trump, while investors also awaited China's first quarter gross domestic product data.
Trump said on Monday he believed that the United States would emerge from its trade dispute with China as a winner, no matter what happened, as the world's two-largest economies remain locked in long-drawn retaliatory tariff war.
Following a set of positive economic data from China last week, market focus will now turn to the release of first-quarter GDP data on Wednesday.
Growth in the first quarter is forecast to have cooled to 6.3 percent, the slowest since the global financial crisis, a poll showed.
Among regional players, the Philippine peso and Indian rupee weakened as much as 0.3 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively.
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday signed a 3.7 trillion peso ($71.5 billion) budget for this year, its largest ever, ending months of impasse that forced the Southeast Asian country to cut its growth target to 6-7 percent from 7-8 percent.
The Indonesian rupiah was marginally lower, ahead of the country's general election on Wednesday.
Standing for re-election, President Joko Widodo is up against former general Prabowo Subianto, whom he narrowly defeated in 2014.
Financial markets in Thailand were closed for a holiday.
SOUTH KOREAN WON DIPS
Leading declines in the region, the South Korean won weakened 0.3 percent to 1,136 against the greenback, in tandem with the local equity benchmark index .
Bank of Korea is likely to keep its base rate unchanged at its quarterly review on Thursday, however economists polled by predict a possible downgrade in growth and inflation forecasts as the trade-reliant economy faces increasing pressure from sagging exports and a slowdown in China.
Chang said the won could become more volatile if the U.S.-China trade deal is seen becoming more problematic than markets had expected.
The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against the dollar at 0506 GMT.
CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
Change so far in 2019
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