EM ASIA FX-Asian currencies firm as reopening of some economies lifts sentiment

Credit: REUTERS/Thomas White

Asian currencies gained ground against a weaker dollar on Wednesday as moves to ease coronavirus-driven restrictions in several countries boosted risk appetite, while upbeat factory data lifted the South Korean won.

By Shreya Mariam Job

April 29 (Reuters) - Asian currencies gained ground against a weaker dollar on Wednesday as moves to ease coronavirus-driven restrictions in several countries boosted risk appetite, while upbeat factory data lifted the South Korean won.

Investors are growing confident that the pandemic may be peaking as parts of the United States, Europe and Australia gradually ease restrictions while New Zealand this week allowed some businesses to reopen.

The coronavirus outbreak has so far claimed 216,667 lives globally and infected more than 3.11 million people, according to a Reuters tally.

As investors leaned toward riskier assets, the dollar .DXY slipped 0.2% against a basket of currencies. FRX/

Market participants remained wary on the dollar ahead of advanced estimates for first-quarter U.S. economic growth and the Federal Reserve's policy decision.

"It is more likely that the Fed will merely assess the policy actions that have been announced, and possibly streamline or clarify the plethora of facilities set up," Mizuho bank said in a note.

The Fed has pumped trillions of dollars in emergency funding into financial markets to stem the damage from the pandemic.

The Indian rupee INR=IN gained about 0.6% and hit its strongest level since April 7.

The South Korean won KRW=KFTC firmed 0.5% on the back of strong March factory output.

Industrial output jumped by the most in 11 years last month as demand for display panels and cars received an unexpected boost from lengthy shutdowns in competing Chinese factories amid the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Vice Finance Minister Kim Yong-beom said the monthly trade balance reading could swing to a deficit in April for the first time since 2012.

CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR

Change on the day at 0624 GMT

Currency

Latest bid

Previous day

Pct Move

Japan yen

106.580

106.86

+0.26

Sing dlr

1.414

1.4169

+0.19

Taiwan dlr

29.893

30.036

+0.48

Korean won

1218.500

1225.2

+0.55

Baht

32.400

32.42

+0.06

Peso

50.500

50.57

+0.14

Rupiah

15350.000

15380

+0.20

Rupee

75.700

76.19

+0.65

Ringgit

4.348

4.36

+0.28

Yuan

7.079

7.0804

+0.03

Change so far in 2020

Currency

Latest bid

End 2019

Pct Move

Japan yen

106.580

108.61

+1.90

Sing dlr

1.414

1.3444

-4.94

Taiwan dlr

29.893

30.106

+0.71

Korean won

1218.500

1156.40

-5.10

Baht

32.400

29.91

-7.69

Peso

50.500

50.65

+0.30

Rupiah

15350.000

13880

-9.58

Rupee

75.700

71.38

-5.71

Ringgit

4.348

4.0890

-5.96

Yuan

7.079

6.9632

-1.63

(Reporting by Shreya Mariam Job in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

((ShreyaMariam.Job@thomsonreuters.com;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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