EM ASIA FX-Most Asian currencies inch up as traders await c.bank decisions

Credit: REUTERS/Thomas White

Most Asian currencies edged up on Thursday ahead of central bank policy meetings and in the absence of new signals or developments in the Sino-U.S. trade war and the Brexit saga.

By Nikhil Nainan

Oct 24 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies edged up on Thursday ahead of central bank policy meetings and in the absence of new signals or developments in the Sino-U.S. trade war and the Brexit saga.

Indonesia's central bank is widely expected to cut its benchmark rate for a fourth time since July as it seeks to spur growth for an economy likely to slow in 2019.

The rupiah IDR= was flat ahead of the decision. The currency has benefited this week from Indonesia's new cabinet that many hope would push through major reforms to boost investment and growth.

OCBC, in a note, said Bank Indonesia may supplement the rate cut with soft rhetoric, and, if so, would "serve as reminders that the Asian macro outlook remains weighed down, even if it may not be dislocating lower."

The U.S.-China trade war and political uncertainty elsewhere has dented global economic growth, and has seen central banks adopt more policy-easing measures.

Trade-reliant economies in Asia have been especially impacted. Economic growth in South Korea slowed more than expected in the third quarter, though exports - the most important driver - showed some signs of recovery.

The won KRW=KFTC was among the best performing currencies on Thursday, advancing 0.1%.

The country's central bank has left the door open to further policy easing.

"Looser fiscal and monetary policy should help the economy to regain some momentum in the quarters ahead," Capital Economics said in a note.

Taiwan's dollar TWD=TP also strengthened.

For the overall region, "it seems likely that the worst of the export slowdown is behind us, providing marginal support to Asia FX if the data improves into next year," BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research said in a note.

The Indian rupee INR=IN, the Singapore dollar SGD= and Chinese yuan CNY=CFXS were flat.

The Malaysian ringgit MYR=MY gained 0.1%. The government is working to resolve a spat with India that has resulted in calls to boycott Malaysian palm oil, a key export product.

On Wednesday, both Malaysia and Singapore said consumer prices in September rose more slowly than expected.

The Philippines peso PHP= weakened 0.2% to 51.080 a dollar.

CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR

Change on the day at 0541 GMT

Currency

Latest bid

Previous day

Pct Move

Japan yen

108.590

108.68

+0.08

Sing dlr

1.362

1.3620

+0.00

Taiwan dlr

30.565

30.611

+0.15

Korean won

1171.600

1172.4

+0.07

Baht

30.280

30.29

+0.03

Peso

51.080

51

-0.16

Rupiah

14025.000

14025

+0.00

Rupee

70.913

70.91

-0.00

Ringgit

4.183

4.186

+0.07

Yuan

7.067

7.0667

+0.00

Change so far in 2019

Currency

Latest bid

End 2018

Pct Move

Japan yen

108.590

109.56

+0.89

Sing dlr

1.362

1.3627

+0.05

Taiwan dlr

30.565

30.733

+0.55

Korean won

1171.600

1115.70

-4.77

Baht

30.280

32.55

+7.50

Peso

51.080

52.47

+2.72

Rupiah

14025.000

14375

+2.50

Rupee

70.913

69.77

-1.61

Ringgit

4.183

4.1300

-1.27

Yuan

7.067

6.8730

-2.74

(Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

((NikhilKurian.Nainan@thomsonreuters.com; Twitter: @NikhilKurianN; +91 806 749 1637))

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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