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POLL-Asia easing views hurt FX sentiment; yuan short positions near 10-mth high
February 5, 2015 / 5:44 AM / 3 years ago

POLL-Asia easing views hurt FX sentiment; yuan short positions near 10-mth high

* Yuan short positions largest since April 2014
    * Singapore dollar bearish bets at 2-month high
    * Ringgit short positions ease to lowest since late Nov

    By Jongwoo Cheon
    SINGAPORE, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Growing expectations of
monetary policy easing spreading across Asia hurt sentiment
towards regional currencies over the past two weeks, with short
positions on China's yuan at a near 10-month high, a Reuters
poll showed on Thursday.
    Investors shunned riskier assets after the European Central
Bank said it would no longer accept Greek bonds as collateral
for liquidity operations - a robust counter to Greece's plan to
renegotiate its heavy debts.  
    Short positions in the Malaysian ringgit, however,
fell back to the lowest level since late November as a recovery
in oil prices prompted a bout of short-covering, the survey of
16 analysts found.
    Yuan short positions were at their largest since 
April last year, the poll conducted between Tuesday and Thursday
    China's central bank cut the reserve requirement ratio for
banks on Wednesday, the first industry-wide cut in more than
2-1/2 years, as it redoubled efforts to speed up flagging
economic growth. 
    The move came after Singapore's monetary authority on Jan.
28 surprised markets by easing policy in an unscheduled meeting.
 That stimulus, in turn, spurred expectations
that other regional central banks could jump on the easing
    Short positions in Singapore dollars grew to their
highest since early December as the city-state's currency fell
to its weakest since August 2010 after the easing.
    Bearish bets on South Korea's won and Thailand's
baht increased slightly as some economists said the
central banks of those countries would ease next.
    Some Asian currencies, however, benefited as investors
sought higher yields amid global low interest rates.
    Long positions in the Philippine peso rose to the
largest since late August. Sustained portfolio inflows lifted
the peso to a near five-month high on Wednesday.
    Short bets on Indonesia's rupiah fell to the lowest
level since late November on bond inflows. On Tuesday, Indonesia
sold 16 trillion rupiah ($1.27 billion) of conventional bonds,
well above an indicative target of 12 trillion rupiah.
    Sentiment on the Indian rupee stayed optimistic,
while long positions fell slightly from a seven-month high
posted in the previous poll. 
    The Asia FX survey published two weeks ago showed sentiment
towards emerging Asian currencies had improved on hopes of
massive ECB monetary stimulus.
    The poll is focused on what analysts believe are the current
market positions in nine Asian emerging market currencies: the
Chinese yuan, South Korean won, Singapore dollar, Indonesian
rupiah, Taiwan dollar, Indian rupee, Philippine peso,
Malaysian ringgit and the Thai baht.
    The poll uses estimates of net long or short positions on a
scale of minus 3 to plus 3.
    A score of plus 3 indicates the market is significantly long
U.S. dollars. The figures include positions held through
non-deliverable forwards (NDFs).
    The survey findings are provided below (positions
in U.S. dollar versus each currency):
 5-Feb    0.62  0.04  1.16  0.35  0.36 -0.62  1.42 -0.35  0.10
 22-Jan  -0.04  0.02  0.72  0.38  0.19 -0.73  1.69 -0.02  0.03
 8-Jan    0.11  0.49  1.05  0.88  0.80 -0.15  1.98  0.13  0.40
 18-Dec   0.29  0.35  0.89  0.89  0.94 -0.07  1.65 -0.22  0.62
 4-Dec   -0.51  1.13  1.25  0.43  0.92 -0.47  1.59  0.13  0.47
 20-Nov  -0.88  1.37  1.12  0.07  0.88 -0.25  1.16  0.50  0.56
 6-Nov   -0.87  1.02  0.74 -0.02  0.41 -0.62  1.01  0.28  0.54
 23-Oct  -0.90 -0.31 -0.08  0.19 -0.08 -0.51  0.05 -0.08 -0.16
 9-Oct   -0.75  0.96  0.66  1.15  0.59 -0.03  0.73  0.47  0.57
 25-Sept -0.94  0.27  0.57  0.86  0.65  0.04  0.65  0.58  0.34
  ($1 = 12,640.0000 rupiah)

 (Additional reporting by Shaloo Shrivastava in BENGALURU;
Editing by Eric Meijer)

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