(Reuters) - Most Asian currencies edged down on Wednesday as investors waited to see the next development in the trade tussle involving the United States and China.
“At this stage, we may be reduced to headline watching with regards to Asian currencies,” OCBC’s Terence Wu said in a research note.
On Tuesday, U.S. President Donald Trump endorsed Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s measured approach to restricting Chinese investments in U.S. technology companies, saying a strengthened merger security review committee could protect sensitive American technologies. [nL1N1TS1NO]
“Overnight, Trump appeared to be less confrontational regarding Chinese investment restrictions, and this may provide some temporary reprieve for Asian currencies,” Wu said.
“Nevertheless, expect sentiments to remain jittery ahead of the (U.S. government) report on Chinese investments due Friday, and the 6 July deadline for tariff imposition.”
Among regional currencies, the Chinese yuan CNY=CFXS was among Wednesday's biggest losers, touching its weakest against the dollar since Dec. 19 during the session.
The Chinese central bank had set the yuan's official midpoint CNY=PBOC weaker for a sixth straight session.
The Indian rupee INR=IN lost the most for the day by falling 0.34 percent. India has been plagued by inflation concerns with rising prices of oil, a major driver of its current account deficit.
Brent crude prices LCOc1 were up 0.5 percent to $76.65 per barrel on Wednesday following supply disruptions in Libya and Canada and after U.S. officials told oil importers to stop buying Iranian crude from November. [O/R]
The Thai baht THB=TH did not move after Thailand's manufacturing production index in May rose 3.2 percent from a year earlier, below the 3.5 percent rise forecast by a Reuters poll. [nB7N1Q501E]
Indonesia's rupiah IDR= did not trade on Wednesday due to a holiday. The central bank, which raised the key interest rate twice in May, is likely to hike it again on Friday to give the fragile rupiah more support, a Reuters poll showed. [nL4N1TR3O9]
The Philippine peso PHP= bucked Wednesday's trend to gain about 0.31 percent, helped by a pick-up in investor sentiment in the equity market. The Philippines' equity benchmark .PSI was trading up to 1.5 percent higher, after advancing for the first time in nine sessions on Tuesday.
The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against the dollar at 0446 GMT.
Change on day at 0446 GMT
Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move
Japan yen 109.950 110.05 +0.09
Sing dlr 1.363 1.3630 +0.03
Taiwan dlr 30.450 30.412 -0.12
Korean won 1117.900 1114.8 -0.28
Baht 32.980 32.99 +0.03
Peso 53.455 53.639 +0.34
Rupee 68.458 68.24 -0.32
Ringgit 4.025 4.021 -0.10
Yuan 6.598 6.5797 -0.27
* Indonesia currency market closed for
Change so far in 2018
Currency Latest bid End 2017 Pct Move
Japan yen 109.950 112.67 +2.47
Sing dlr 1.363 1.3373 -1.86
Taiwan dlr 30.450 29.848 -1.98
Korean won 1117.900 1070.50 -4.24
Baht 32.980 32.58 -1.21
Peso 53.455 49.977 -6.51
Rupiah 14173.000 13565 -4.29
Rupee 68.458 63.87 -6.70
Ringgit 4.025 4.0440 +0.47
Yuan 6.598 6.5069 -1.38
Reporting by Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Borsuk