EMERGING MARKETS-Rupee retreats, Asian stocks up on trade cheer

Credit: REUTERS/THOMAS WHITE

India's rupee pulled back slightly on Tuesday after surging as much as 1% a day earlier on reports of a halt in central bank intervention aimed at keeping a lid on gains for the currency to support a struggling economy.

By Shriya Ramakrishnan

Aug 25 (Reuters) - India's rupee pulled back slightly on Tuesday after surging as much as 1% a day earlier on reports of a halt in central bank intervention aimed at keeping a lid on gains for the currency to support a struggling economy.

In a morning of trade dominated by gains for heavily export-linked markets on signs of some progress in U.S.-China trade discussions, the rupee INR= stood out with a small dip against the dollar.

But, having taken a beating in the past year from an economic slowdown and the world's third worst coronavirus outbreak, dealers said the Reserve Bank of India's surprise disappearance as a seller of the currency on Monday had fuelled speculation of more gains ahead.

By midday in Mumbai it was trading around 74.4 per dollar, just off levels below 74.2 which were its highest since mid-March.

"Overall, the Indian rupee will catch up with Asian peers and there is a possibility of 73.60 in coming sessions," said Rahul Gupta, head of Research-Currency at Emkay Global Financial Services. "Going ahead, the RBI cannot be taken for granted."

The rupee has the backing of a healthier trade account and substantial foreign investment inflows, but its gains have been limited by what traders say have been weeks of selling by the RBI.

Despite foreign investor inflows of $3.9 billion year-to-date into India's stock markets, the rupee is down about 4.1% in 2020, making it one of the worst performing in the region.

Gains elsewhere in Asia were led by export-focused markets, with South Korea's KOSPI .KS11, up 1.6%, and Singapore shares .STI, over 1% higher.

In currency markets, the won KRW=KFTC and Taiwanese dollar TWD=TP were the top gainers, advancing 0.3% and 0.6%, respectively.

In Indonesia, the rupiah IDR= strengthened as much as 0.5% per dollar on strong demand for its government bonds ahead of an auction later in the day, though it took a knock from a finance ministry warning on the economy.

Shares in Jakarta .JKSE were however up about 0.9%.

Malaysian shares .KLSE were among the sole decliners during the session, dragged down by losses among medical glover makers as hopes of new coronavirus treatments dented the appeal of the sector.

HIGHLIGHTS:

** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields are down 1.8 basis points at 6.718%

** Top gainers on the Jakarta stock index .JKSE include Kresna Graha Investama Tbk PT KREN.JK up 26.14% at 111 rupiah, Anabatic Technologies Tbk PT ATIC.JK up 24.53% at 660 rupiah, Acset Indonusa Tbk PT ACST.JK up 24.31% at 450 rupiah

** Top losers on FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kl Index .KLSE include Top Glove Corporation Bhd TPGC.KL down 6.38% at 26.12 ringgit; Hartalega Holdings Bhd HTHB.KL down 5.83% at 16.48 ringgit; CIMB Group Holdings Bhd CIMB.KL down 0.29% at 3.39 ringgit

Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0722 GMT

COUNTRY

FX RIC

FX DAILY %

FX YTD %

INDEX

STOCKS DAILY %

STOCKS YTD %

Japan

JPY=

-0.19

+2.30

.N225

1.35

-1.52

China

CNY=CFXS

+0.12

+0.76

.SSEC

-0.36

10.60

India

INR=IN

-0.15

-4.08

.NSEI

0.03

-5.75

Indonesia

IDR=

+0.20

-5.19

.JKSE

0.86

-15.51

Malaysia

MYR=

+0.12

-1.90

.KLSE

-0.45

-1.72

Philippines

PHP=

+0.00

+4.48

.PSI

0.17

-23.82

S.Korea

KRW=KFTC

+0.34

-2.42

.KS11

1.58

7.69

Singapore

SGD=

+0.07

-1.81

.STI

0.99

-20.45

Taiwan

TWD=TP

+0.56

+2.56

.TWII

0.88

6.34

Thailand

THB=TH

-0.06

-4.93

.SETI

0.66

-16.08

(Reporting by Shriya Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Gaurav Dogra; Editing by Patrick Graham and Subhranshu Sahu)

((Shriya.Ramakrishnan@thomsonreuters.com; +91 8061822842 ;))

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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