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EM ASIA FX-Singapore dlr hits 5-week low on Q2 contraction, won at 2-yr trough
July 14, 2015 / 2:05 AM / 2 years ago

EM ASIA FX-Singapore dlr hits 5-week low on Q2 contraction, won at 2-yr trough

SINGAPORE, July 14 (Reuters) - The Singapore dollar hit a
five-week low on Tuesday as a surprising economic contraction
revived expectations that the city-state's central bank may ease
monetary policy.
    South Korea's won touched a two-year trough,
leading losses emerging Asian currencies, as investors shifted
their focus to guessing when the U.S. Federal Reserve will start
raising interest rates.
    The Singapore dollar lost as much as 0.4 percent to
1.3622 per U.S. dollar, its weakest since June 8, after
disappointing second-quarter growth data.
    Gross domestic product shrank 4.6 percent in the second
quarter from the previous three months on an annualised and
seasonally adjusted basis, government data showed. Sluggish
global demand hurt the manufacturing sector of the
trade-dependent economy. 
    The figures spurred views that the Monetary Authority of
Singapore (MAS) may ease policy, analysts said.
    "Markets will have to start pricing in a risk of an easing
by MAS into October," said Sean Yokota, head of Asia strategy
for Scandinavian bank SEB in Singapore.
    SEB's three-month target of the Singapore dollar is 1.4000,
Yokota added.
    In a Reuters poll on June 26, economists had expected the
Singapore's central bank to keep monetary policy steady at its
next scheduled policy review in October, seeing a recovery in
core inflation later this year. 
    At its April meeting, the MAS held off from further stimulus
after a surprise easing in January. 
    The won lost 0.9 percent to 1,140.7 per dollar, its weakest
since July 2013, as offshore funds sold the currency amid
overall strength in the U.S. dollar.
    The South Korean currency recovered some of earlier losses
as local exporters bought it for settlements on dips.
    
    CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
    Change on the day at 0202 GMT
  Currency    Latest bid   Previous day    Pct Move
  Japan yen       123.51         123.46       -0.04
  Sing dlr        1.3603         1.3570       -0.24
  Taiwan dlr      31.011         31.200       +0.61
  Korean won     1139.40        1130.60       -0.77
  Baht             34.02          34.00       -0.08
  Peso             45.19          45.16       -0.06
  Rupiah        13322.00       13296.00       -0.20
  Rupee            63.51          63.51       +0.00
  Ringgit         3.8045         3.8030       -0.04
  Yuan            6.2088         6.2084       -0.01
 
  Change so far in 2015
  Currency    Latest bid  End prev year    Pct Move
  Japan yen       123.51         119.66       -3.12
  Sing dlr        1.3603         1.3260       -2.52
  Taiwan dlr      31.011         31.718       +2.28
  Korean won     1139.40        1099.30       -3.52
  Baht             34.02          32.90       -3.30
  Peso             45.19          44.72       -1.03
  Rupiah        13322.00       12380.00       -7.07
  Rupee            63.51          63.03       -0.76
  Ringgit         3.8045         3.4965       -8.10
  Yuan            6.2088         6.2040       -0.08
 
 (Reporting by Jongwoo Cheon in SINGAPORE; Editing by Richard
Borsuk)

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