EMERGING MARKETS-Malaysia's ringgit, Singapore dollar gains as travel curbs ease

Credit: REUTERS/THOMAS WHITE

Malaysia's ringgit scaled a near one-month peak on Monday and equities advanced more than half a percent after the government lifted interstate and international travel restrictions, while most other Asian currencies edged higher.

By Sameer Manekar

Oct 11 (Reuters) - Malaysia's ringgit scaled a near one-month peak on Monday and equities advanced more than half a percent after the government lifted interstate and international travel restrictions, while most other Asian currencies edged higher.

Singapore dollar SGD= firmed 0.2% to hit its highest in two weeks, while equities .STI touched a near two-month peak after the government opened its borders to more countries for quarantine-free travel.

Meanwhile, investors will be eyeing Singapore's advanced third-quarter economic growth data expected later in the week, with analysts at OCBC Bank expecting a moderation from second-quarter's 14.7% year-on-year growth.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore is likely to keep its monetary policy settings unchanged at this juncture, but may signal a need for recalibration in 2022, the OCBC analysts said in a note.

Meanwhile, a soft U.S. payrolls figure last week did little to alter market expectations of tapering of bond purchases by the U.S. Federal Reserve, pressuring risk-sensitive Asian markets as the U.S. dollar firmed and Treasury yields jumped.

The dollar index =USD, which tracks the greenback against six major currencies, edged higher to 94.139, while the 10-year benchmark yields US10YT=RR hit multi-month highs on expectations of the Fed's tapering plans. USD/US/

Investors now await U.S. September inflation data on Wednesday, which, according to analysts at Mizuho bank, "will be a key trigger for bond markets to adjust positions just ahead of Federal Open Market Committee's minutes."

In Malaysia, the ringgit MYR= added 0.2% to scale 4.167 per U.S. dollar, its highest since Sept. 17, while equities .KLSE advanced as much as 0.7% and were on course to gain for a fifth consecutive session.

Malaysia lifted interstate and international travel restrictions for residents fully vaccinated against COVID-19 starting Monday, as the country achieved its target of inoculating 90% of its adult population.

The Thai baht THB=TH firmed by about 0.3% while stocks .SETI were up 0.4% to scale their highest in more than four weeks. The Indonesian rupiah IDR= also edged higher.

Among the regional equity markets, Philippine stocks .PSI surged 2.7% for their biggest intraday jump since mid-August, rallying after two consecutive sessions of declines, while the peso PHP= slipped 0.3%.

Markets in South Korea .KS11, KRW=KFTC and Taiwan .TWII, TWD=TP were closed for a holiday.

HIGHLIGHTS:

** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields edges higher to 6.359%

** China orders miners in Inner Mongolia to ramp up coal production - nL1N2R40KN

** India says it has ample coal stocks for power sector - nL4N2R6076

** Global tax deal seeks to end havens, criticized for 'no teeth' - nL1N2R41MK

Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0339 GMT

COUNTRY

FX RIC

FX DAILY %

FX YTD %

INDEX

STOCKS DAILY %

STOCKS YTD %

Japan

JPY=

-0.42

-8.39

.N225

1.57

3.81

China

CNY=CFXS

+0.10

+1.41

.SSEC

0.31

3.75

India

INR=IN

+0.00

-2.56

.NSEI

0.00

27.99

Indonesia

IDR=

+0.07

-1.20

.JKSE

-0.16

8.23

Malaysia

MYR=

+0.24

-3.50

.KLSE

0.60

-3.32

Philippines

PHP=

-0.24

-5.23

.PSI

2.86

-0.50

S.Korea

KRW=KFTC

-0.35

-9.07

.KS11

-0.11

2.88

Singapore

SGD=

+0.10

-2.43

.STI

0.06

9.53

Taiwan

TWD=TP

-0.34

+1.56

.TWII

-0.44

12.95

Thailand

THB=TH

+0.18

-11.33

.SETI

-0.04

13.07

(Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

((Sameer.Manekar@thomsonreuters.com; +918061823447;))

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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