STI

EMERGING MARKETS-Asian currencies oscillate within tight range; shares muted

Credit: REUTERS/Thomas White

By Poonam Behura

March 25 (Reuters) - Emerging Asian currencies were stuck in tight ranges on Monday, as the greenback received a boost from rising investor expectations of interest rates remaining higher for longer on the back of strong U.S. economic data.

The Taiwanese dollar TWD=TP advanced 0.3%, paring back some gains made earlier in the session. It was on course for its biggest intraday gain in 13 weeks. The South Korean won KRW=KFTC, seen by analysts as a “high-beta” currency, dropped 0.2%.

The Chinese yuan CNY=CFXS rose 0.3% to 7.2 per U.S. dollar at 0624 GMT, after major state-owned banks sold dollars for yuan to stabilise the Chinese currency. It had weakened to a four-month low on Friday, breaching the psychologically important 7.2-per-dollar level.

The yuan intervention "pushed back speculation that policymakers may allow another round of RMB depreciation," OCBC currency strategist Christopher Wong said.

Asian shares were mixed due to the absence of strong catalysts and as investors were wary that a key U.S. inflation gauge - core personal consumption expenditure (PCE) price index - due on Friday could derail the outlook for lower U.S. rates.

The PCE index was seen rising 0.3% last month. A stronger outcome would be taken as a setback to hopes for a Federal Reserve rate cut in June.

"Stronger U.S. data and hawkish Fed speaks may keep USD broadly supported. At this point, USD still presents a relative yield advantage and the Fed has communicated that they are in no hurry to cut rates," Wong said, referring to the dollar's recent strength.

The U.S. dollar index =USD, which measures the greenback against a basket of major currencies, was last steady at 104.34, having clocked a weekly gain of nearly 1% last week.

"This would probably change only when U.S. data starts to show more signs of softening and this puts focus on core PCE this Friday," Wong added.

Stocks in Seoul .KS11 and Manila .PSI weakened 0.5% each. Shanghai's shares index.SSEC surged 0.6%, while those in Taipei .TWII and Bangkok .SETI were marginally up by 0.2% and 0.1%, respectively.

In Malaysia, government data showed consumer price index (CPI) in February rose 1.8% from a year earlier. The ringgit MYR= was last up 0.2%, while stocks .KLSE traded 0.4% lower.

In Vietnam, the dong VND= appreciated 0.1% to 24,797.0 per dollar, recovering some last ground over the past few sessions as political uncertainty roiled investors.

Markets in India were closed for a public holiday.

HIGHLIGHTS:

** Singapore February core inflation rises to 3.6% Y/Y, highest since July 2023

** Japan FX tsar Kanda says speculation behind weak yen, ready to take action

** Thai parliament approves delayed $96 billion budget for 2024 fiscal year

Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0624 GMT

COUNTRY

FX RIC

FX DAILY %

FX YTD %

INDEX

STOCKS DAILY %

STOCKS YTD %

Japan

JPY=

+0.15

-6.71

.N225

-1.09

21.4

China

CNY=CFXS

+0.29

-1.53

.SSEC

0.01

2.46

India

INR=IN

-

-0.26

.NSEI

-

1.68

Indonesia

IDR=

-0.16

-2.56

.JKSE

-0.33

0.73

Malaysia

MYR=

+0.17

-2.90

.KLSE

-0.35

5.66

Philippines

PHP=

-0.09

-1.76

.PSI

-0.43

6.24

S.Korea

KRW=KFTC

-0.22

-3.97

.KS11

-0.09

3.42

Singapore

SGD=

+0.13

-2.03

.STI

-0.32

-1.00

Taiwan

TWD=TP

+0.26

-3.57

.TWII

-0.18

12.61

Thailand

THB=TH

-0.11

-6.09

.SETI

-0.35

-2.80

Graphic: World FX rates https://tmsnrt.rs/2RBWI5E

Asian stock markets https://tmsnrt.rs/2zpUAr4

(Reporting by Poonam Behura in Bengaluru; Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Janane Venkatraman)

((Poonam.Behura@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.

Tags

More Related Articles

Info icon

This data feed is not available at this time.

Sign up for the TradeTalks newsletter to receive your weekly dose of trading news, trends and education. Delivered Wednesdays.