August 20, 2019 / 6:21 AM / 2 months ago

CORRECTED-EM ASIA FX-Most Asia FX steady, soothed by stimulus hopes; Malaysian ringgit outperforms (Aug 19)

 (Corrects 3rd paragraph in Aug 19 report to say Fitch
Solutions, not Fitch Ratings)
    * Fitch Solutions raises Malaysia's 2019 growth forecast
    * Ringgit and Rupiah gain most
    * Other regional units subdued as growth fears persist

    By Rashmi Ashok
    Aug 19 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies held steady on
Monday as global recession fears were soothed by stimulus hopes,
while the Malaysian ringgit extended gains after ratings agency
Fitch raised the country's growth forecast on the back of strong
economic data. 
    The ringgit advanced 0.2%, while the Indonesian
rupiah built on gains from Friday to be up 0.3%.
    Earlier on Monday, Fitch Solutions revised Malaysia's 2019
growth forecast to 4.6%, up from 4.2%, after the country
reported stronger-than-expected growth over the first half.

    The sturdier growth in Malaysia contrasted with many of its
peers in the region, which have slowed this year as the
U.S.-China trade war hurt demand for exports.
    The Indonesian rupiah was the top performer, extending
Friday's gains after Indonesia's budget on Friday set a slightly
optimistic target on growth.
    The 2020 gross domestic product (GDP) growth target of 5.3%
was the same as the current year, although officials have often
said 2019 growth would come in slightly lower. 
    Broader sentiment remained subdued even though signs of more
steps from China to support businesses appeared to calm 
investors unnerved by nagging recession fears. Other major
economies, including Germany and the eurozone, have also flagged
more stimulus to boost growth.
    The Chinese yuan traded slightly lower, while the
Korean won also ticked down.
    China's central bank unveiled a key interest rate reform on
Saturday to help steer borrowing costs lower for companies and
support an economy gripped by bruising trade war with the United
   The move would be helpful, said Sim Moh Siong, FX strategist
at Bank of Singapore. However, "the message so far is that while
they do have the capacity to provide more stimulus to the
economy, they are not planning to go about it in a big way," he
    The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar at 0546 GMT.
 Change on the day at   0546 GMT                  
 Currency               Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
 Japan yen              106.380     106.36        -0.02
 Sing dlr               1.385       1.3842        -0.03
 Taiwan dlr             31.349      31.366        +0.05
 Korean won             1211.500    1210.8        -0.06
 Baht                   30.860      30.86         +0.00
 Peso                   52.290      52.3          +0.02
 Rupiah                 14195.000   14230         +0.25
 Rupee                  71.228      71.15         -0.11
 Ringgit                4.166       4.176         +0.24
 Yuan                   7.047       7.0420        -0.07
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Currency               Latest bid  End 2018      Pct Move
 Japan yen              106.380     109.56        +2.99
 Sing dlr               1.385       1.3627        -1.58
 Taiwan dlr             31.349      30.733        -1.96
 Korean won             1211.500    1115.70       -7.91
 Baht                   30.860      32.55         +5.48
 Peso                   52.290      52.47         +0.34
 Rupiah                 14195.000   14375         +1.27
 Rupee                  71.228      69.77         -2.05
 Ringgit                4.166       4.1300        -0.86
 Yuan                   7.047       6.8730        -2.47

 (Reporting by Rashmi Ashok in Bengaluru
Editing by Shri Navaratnam)
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