EM ASIA FX-Most currencies depreciate; Sino-U.S. trade spat, Argentine peso crash hits risk sentiment

Credit: REUTERS/AMIT DAVE

Most Asian currencies weakened on Tuesday, as the prolonged Sino-U.S. trade dispute and a free fall of the Argentine peso weighed on investors' risk appetite, while Singapore cutting its full-year growth forecast added more pressure in the region.

By Aby Jose Koilparambil

Aug 13 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies weakened on Tuesday, as the prolonged Sino-U.S. trade dispute and a free fall of the Argentine peso weighed on investors' risk appetite, while Singapore cutting its full-year growth forecast added more pressure in the region.

Signals of a drawn out tussle between the U.S. and China have kept global markets on edge and the lack of any progress in resolving their differences is a major worry for many Asian economies, which count Beijing as a top trade partner.

The prospects of a more aggressive approach by China to tackle the simmering protests in Hong Kong has also triggered a wave of risk aversion across global markets.

In Argentina, the local peso weakened more than 15% against the dollar after President Mauricio Macri got thumped in Sunday's primary vote, a stark early warning for the incumbent ahead of the general election in October.

Meanwhile, the Singapore government cut its full-year forecast range for gross domestic product as global conditions were seen worsening and data confirmed the slowest growth rate in a decade amid mounting fears of recession in the city-state.

Singapore's final second quarter GDP data on Tuesday showed a 3.3% quarter-on-quarter contraction on a seasonally-adjusted annualised basis, slightly smaller than the 3.4% decline seen in the government's advance estimate but lower than a 2.9% fall predicted in a Reuters poll.

"Singapore's sobering downward assessment of 2019 growth outlook is perhaps the most telling sign that the world is now bracing for the worse; even as it hopes for better," said Mizuho Bank's Vishnu Varathan in a note.

The Indian rupee INR=IN led losses on the day, weakening as much as 0.6% to 71.190 against the dollar, its lowest level since Feb. 28.

The Indonesian rupiah IDR=ID, the South Korean won KRW=KFTC and the Thai baht THB=TH depreciated up to 0.3% each.

The Malaysian ringgit MYR=MY fell as much as 0.2%, while the Chinese yuan CNY=CFXS, the Singapore dollar SGD= and the Taiwan dollar TWD=TP depreciated slightly.

CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR

Change on the day at 0429 GMT

Currency

Latest bid

Previous day

Pct Move

Japan yen

105.480

105.29

-0.18

Sing dlr

1.388

1.3867

-0.07

Taiwan dlr

31.439

31.400

-0.12

Korean won

1218.700

1216.2

-0.21

Baht

30.780

30.72

-0.19

Peso

52.120

52.16

+0.08

Rupiah

14280.000

14245

-0.25

Rupee

71.045

70.80

-0.34

Ringgit

4.191

4.183

-0.19

Yuan

7.063

7.0585

-0.07

Change so far in 2019

Currency

Latest bid

End 2018

Pct Move

Japan yen

105.480

109.56

+3.87

Sing dlr

1.388

1.3627

-1.80

Taiwan dlr

31.439

30.733

-2.25

Korean won

1218.700

1115.70

-8.45

Baht

30.780

32.55

+5.75

Peso

52.120

52.47

+0.67

Rupiah

14280.000

14375

+0.67

Rupee

71.045

69.77

-1.79

Ringgit

4.191

4.1300

-1.46

Yuan

7.063

6.8730

-2.69

(Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr)

((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.

Reuters

Reuters, the news and media division of Thomson Reuters, is the world’s largest international multimedia news provider reaching more than one billion people every day. Reuters provides trusted business, financial, national, and international news to professionals via Thomson Reuters desktops, the world's media organizations, and directly to consumers at Reuters.com and via Reuters TV.

Learn More