October 1, 2019 / 9:02 AM / 21 days ago

Most Asian units slip; South Korean won drops the most on bleak data

(Reuters) - Most Asian currencies edged lower against a stronger dollar on Tuesday, with the South Korean won weakening the most after dismal inflation and exports data stoked bets of further monetary policy easing.

FILE PHOTO: South Korean won, Chinese yuan and Japanese yen notes are seen on U.S. 100 dollar notes in this picture illustration taken in Seoul, South Korea, December 15, 2015. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji/File Photo

The U.S. dollar rose to its highest in more than two years versus a basket of currencies ahead of data forecast to show the U.S. manufacturing sector returned to growth. [FRX/]

The dollar strength weighed on most Asian currencies in thin trade, with markets in China closed for the rest of the week for holidays.

The won KRW=KFTC dropped 0.3%, its biggest intraday percentage fall in over a week, as bleak economic readings reinforced the view that the trade-reliant economy would continue to show weakness against the backdrop of a bruising trade war and fears of a global slowdown.

“We think the BoK (Bank of Korea) will cut interest rates by a further 50bp, with one cut this month and another in January next year,” research firm Capital Economics said in a note.

The Singapore dollar SGD= slid 0.2%.

The city-state’s central bank is expected to ease monetary policy at its semi-annual meeting slated to be held no later than Oct. 14, according to a Reuters poll. [nL3N26I1KR]

The Indonesian rupiah IDR=ID slipped marginally after data earlier in the day showed that country's annual inflation rate slowed in September and was within the central bank's target range.

“With inflation contained and Bank Indonesia keen to support growth, further monetary policy easing looks likely,” ANZ Research said.

The Indian rupee INR=IN firmed as much as 0.2%. The country's central bank on Monday said the country's current account deficit narrowed to 2% of gross domestic product in the June quarter from 2.3% in the same period a year ago. [nL3N26L3I8]

The Philippine peso PHP= declined 0.2%, snapping a four-session winning streak.

The Philippine central bank on Monday had said that September annual inflation was likely to settle within 0.6%-1.4% range. [nP9N22Q02M]

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas had cut its 2019 inflation forecast last week. Easing inflation has allowed the central bank to cut its benchmark interest rate three times this year in a bid to arrest slowing growth.

Reporting by Shreya Mariam Job in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni

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