January 18, 2010 / 7:33 AM / 8 years ago

EM ASIA FX-Rupiah, peso fall on credit woes, weaker stocks

 * Greece jitters, JPMorgan loss weigh on rupiah, peso
 * Yuan NDFs rise as investors brace for strong data
 * Hong Kong dollar eases on China tighenting concerns
 By Kevin Yao
 SINGAPORE, Jan 18 (Reuters) - The Indonesian rupiah and Philippine peso fell alongside most other Asian currencies on Monday as investors shed riskier assets on concerns over Greece's fiscal woes and JPMorgan's surprisingly large credit losses.
 But the Chinese yuan bucked the trend, rising in offshore markets as investors expected upbeat economic data due out this week, including fourth-quarter gross domestic product growth that was projected by analysts at 10.9 percent year-on-year. [ID:nTOE60C07D]
 Asian stocks fell after U.S. banking giant JPMorgan (JPM.N) reported heavy losses on mortgage and credit card loans, while the dollar firmed against the euro amid concerns about fiscal problems buffeting Greece, which has seen its budget deficit balloon and its credit ratings cut.  [ID:nTOE60H00B]
 The rupiah fell in both onshore and offshore markets as risk-averse investors covered short dollar positions.
 "NDFs are higher due to short dollar covering, but we don't see aggressive buying," said a Singapore-based trader.
 One-month dollar/rupiah NDFs IDR1MNDFOR= rise 9,260, implying a 0.2 percent rupiah fall from the spot.
 On the spot market, the rupiah IDR= loses 0.6 percent to 9,240 per dollar.
 "The market is buying dollar/rupiah in line with the region," said a Jakarta-based dealer.
 A local newspaper report saying that the finance minister may be replaced by February also weighed on sentiment. [ID:nJAK475644].
 Chief Economics Minister Hatta Rajasa later said Indonesia's president has no plans to reshuffle his cabinet in the near term. [ID:nJKB003382]
 The high-yielding rupiah is consolidating after a nearly 3 percent rise since late December, but charts still point to a longer-term uptrend, with the currency probably testing the psychologically important 9,000 level in coming weeks.
 Dollar/peso NDFs gained as falling global stocks and concerns over Greece's budget woes prod investors to cover short dollar positions.
 "NDFs went up due to short covering but the curve remains largely stable," said a Singapore-based trader.
 One-month dollar/peso NDFs PHP1MNDFOR= rose to 46.12 from Friday's close of 45.89, implying a 0.3 percent peso fall from the spot.
 The spot peso PHP= shed 0.4 percent to 46 per dollar.
 "We see a strong dollar across the board and lower commodities as well. Dollar/peso is hitching on the trend which is most likely to last till month-end," said a Manila-based dealer. Peso supported by 20-day moving average at 46 but some traders expected it to fall towards 46.20 by month-end.
 Dollar/yuan offshore forwards eased before key Chinese economic data due out on Thursday, with traders eyeing the figures as a trigger for more appreciation speculation.
 One-year dollar/yuan NDFs CNYNDFOR= slipped to 6.599, implying appreciation of 3.46 percent in 12 months from the daily mid-point compared the 3.35 percent implied rise on Friday.
 "People are trading NDFs in a range. I think there's a big chance strong economic data will follow through, taking NDFs back to their floor," says a trader at a European bank in Shanghai.
 Elsewhere, the Hong Kong dollar hit a 15-month low of 7.7625 to the U.S. dollar HKD= on concern that Chinese banks would be forced to repatriate funds back to the mainland if Beijing continues to tighten monetary policy.
 China's central bank raised bank reserve requirements last week, raising fears that the tighter policy could curb the flow of money into Hong Kong from the mainland, which has been massive in the past year due to a low interest rate environment and Beijing's economic stimulus package.
  The Hong Kong dollar is pegged at 7.80 to the U.S. dollar but can trade between 7.75 and 7.85.
 The Hong Kong Monetary Authority may intervene if the currency falters further, analysts said.
 "But it's not urgent as the top end of the band is far away at 7.85," said Thio Chin Loo, strategist at BNP Paribas.  CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR  Change on the day at   0710 GMT  Currency    Latest bid   Previous day    Pct Move  Japan yen        90.93          90.78       -0.16  Sing dlr        1.3885         1.3905       +0.14  Taiwan dlr      31.764         31.828       +0.20  Korean won     1123.60        1121.10       -0.22  Baht             32.86          32.87       +0.05  Peso             45.86          45.82       -0.09  Rupiah         9225.00        9185.00       -0.43  Rupee            45.56          45.78       +0.48  Ringgit         3.3390         3.3380       -0.03  Yuan            6.8266         6.8269       +0.00  Change so far in 2010  Currency    Latest bid  End prev year    Pct Move  Japan yen        90.93          92.90       +2.17  Sing dlr        1.3885         1.4053       +1.21  Taiwan dlr      31.764         32.030       +0.84  Korean won     1123.60        1164.50       +3.64  Baht             32.86          33.32       +1.42  Peso             45.86          46.20       +0.74  Rupiah         9225.00        9420.00       +2.11  Rupee            45.56          46.54       +2.14  Ringgit         3.3390         3.4220       +2.49  Yuan            6.8266         6.8270       +0.01  (Additional reporting by Karen Yeung in SHANGHAI)  (Editing by Kim Coghill)                          

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