EM ASIA FX-Asian currencies struggle amid fresh worries on US-China trade dispute

Credit: REUTERS/Thomas White

Most Asian currencies weakened on Wednesday on worries that the sealing of a first-phase trade deal between the United States and China could be delayed.

By Aby Jose Koilparambil

Oct 30 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies weakened on Wednesday on worries that the sealing of a first-phase trade deal between the United States and China could be delayed.

The optimism around a partial resolution to the festering trade dispute faded a bit after a U.S. administration official told Reuters that an interim agreement might not be completed in time for signing in Chile next month as expected.

The trade dispute and the chance for at least a partial resolution continues to be a key factor in currency markets.

Asian financial markets also tread water as the focus shifted to the U.S. Federal Reserve decision later on Wednesday. The market has priced in 25 basis points U.S. rate cut.

"Fed is likely to maintain some degree of optionality with regard to future policy guidance, without over-committing," Maybank analysts said in a note.

"It (Fed) could possibly go a step further to signal that the mid-cycle adjustment has ended, akin to hawkish cut."

Investors will also await U.S. third-quarter GDP figures, due on Wednesday ahead of the Fed decision. Any weakness in the data could increase worries on global growth.

The South Korean won KRW=KFTC, which gained about 1% on Monday and Tuesday combined, slid as much as 0.6%, its biggest percentage intraday drop in nearly three weeks.

The Indian rupee INR=IN, which had a solid advance in the previous session, slipped as much as 0.3% on the day.

The Indonesian rupiah IDR=ID, the Malaysian ringgit MYR=MY and the Thai baht THB=TH weakened slightly, while the Singapore dollar SGD= and the Philippine peso PHP= barely moved.

The Chinese yuan CNY=CFXS inched up marginally after trading flat in the first two sessions of the week as investors mark time ahead of the Fed decision.

The Taiwanese dollar TWD=TP appreciated 0.13%. A Reuters poll showed economists expect the island's third-quarter GDP growth rate - due on Thursday -- to be 2.5%, barely changed from April-June's pace.

CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR

Change on the day at 0626 GMT

Currency

Latest bid

Previous day

Pct Move

Japan yen

108.820

108.87

+0.05

Sing dlr

1.362

1.3621

+0.01

Taiwan dlr

30.482

30.522

+0.13

Korean won

1167.700

1163

-0.40

Baht

30.220

30.21

-0.03

Peso

51.035

51.03

-0.01

Rupiah

14038.000

14020

-0.13

Rupee

70.983

70.84

-0.20

Ringgit

4.183

4.181

-0.05

Yuan

7.062

7.0656

+0.05

Change so far in 2019

Currency

Latest bid

End 2018

Pct Move

Japan yen

108.820

109.56

+0.68

Sing dlr

1.362

1.3627

+0.05

Taiwan dlr

30.482

30.733

+0.82

Korean won

1167.700

1115.70

-4.45

Baht

30.220

32.55

+7.71

Peso

51.035

52.47

+2.81

Rupiah

14038.000

14375

+2.40

Rupee

70.983

69.77

-1.71

Ringgit

4.183

4.1300

-1.27

Yuan

7.062

6.8730

-2.67

(Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

((abyjose.koilparambil@thomsonreuters.com; +91 80 67496061))

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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