Most Asian emerging currencies and
stock markets took a beating on Tuesday as strong U.S. services
data supported the dollar by raising doubts over how soon the
Federal Reserve would begin to opt for smaller hikes in interest
Uncertainty over the Fed’s intentions overshadowed optimism
about China beginning to relax its zero-COVID strategy.
South Korea’s won and Malaysia’s ringgit
depreciated 1.3% and 0.3%, respectively. Indonesia’s rupiah
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the currency
against six major peers, changed hands at 105.11 in early Asian
trading, easing 0.1% after Monday’s 0.7% rally, its biggest
since Nov. 21.
“The major factor for the market would be growing concerns
over Fed’s rate hikes which has led to some profits-taking on
risky assets and rally in the U.S. dollar,” said Poon
Panichpibool, Markets Strategist at Krung Thai Bank.
Panichpibool said Asian currencies could outperform the
dollar next year, as the greenback peaks.
Thailand’s baht dropped 0.7%, while equities in
Bangkok shed 0.1%.
“The reason that the Thai baht has weakened today could come
from some hedging position which may have turn(ed) after the
U.S. data was better than expected yesterday,” said Kittika
Boonsrang, capital markets business research specialist at
Meanwhile, Philippine annual inflation surged to a 14-year
high in November driven mainly by higher food prices, thereby
supporting the case for a half-percentage point interest rate
hike this month.
The country’s central bank has raised rates six times this
year to meet its inflation target of 2%-4% for the year. Last
week, its governor flagged another 25 basis points or 50 basis
points hike at the Dec. 15 meeting.
The peso depreciated 0.1%, while stocks in Manila
Bucking the broader trend, Singapore’s dollar
appreciated 0.2% to be the only bright spot among Asian emerging
Stocks in Asia also remained on the backfoot, with
Indonesia’s benchmark index retreating 1.1% and leading
losses in the region.
** China may announce 10 new COVID easing steps on Weds
** New PM Anwar says Malaysia to review plans for 5G network
** Sanurhasta Mitra and Citra Tubindo
lead laggards on Indonesia’s benchmark index
The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar at 0339 GMT.
Asia stock indexes and currencies at
COUNTRY FX RIC FX FX INDE STOCKS STOCKS
DAILY % YTD % X DAILY YTD %
Japan -0.10 -15.9 <.n2>
India -0.38 -9.46 <.ns ei>
Indonesi -0.62 -8.42 <.jk a se>
Malaysia -0.25 -4.87 <.kl se>
Philippi -0.11 -8.96 <.ps nes i>
Singapor +0.24 -0.43 <.st e i>
Taiwan -0.29 -9.34 <.tw ii>
Thailand -0.71 -4.59 <.se ti>
(Reporting by Upasana Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon