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India

Devika Syamnath

Australian shares end firmer in subdued trade; NZ inches down

11:28am IST

Dec 11 Resources and banking stocks helped Australian equities end higher amid low-volume trade on Wednesday, while takeover buzz propelled travel site Webjet Ltd's shares to the top of the benchmark.

EM ASIA FX-Asian currencies stuck in limbo as trade caution prevails

06 Dec 2019

(Adds text, updates prices) By Devika Syamnath Dec 6 Most emerging Asian currencies held tight ranges on Friday after a week of back-and-forth headlines on trade, which kept investors firmly on the sidelines. Investors held big bets in check pending firmer signs on whether Washington and Beijing could reach an interim deal by Dec. 15, when a new round of U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods is set to take effect. "The operative word is uncertainty, and we do expect further jitters next week, with investors likely taking out insurance ahead of the Dec. 15 tariff deadline," OCBC said in a note. China's yuan slipped slightly lower and was set to notch a small weekly loss, while the Indonesian rupiah and Malaysian ringgit were both 0.2% higher. While mixed U.S. economic indicators weighed on the dollar, offering a small measure of support for Asian currencies, focus is now on payrolls data, which could provide a clearer read on the health of the world's largest economy. The Philippine peso inched higher, extending gains into a third session after data released earlier this week showed inflation quickening, raising expectations there may be no more rate cuts this year. Thailand's baht declined 0.2% a day after trading was closed for a public holiday. The currency extended losses into a fourth straight session and was set to close the week lower. Nath Wongsaroj, a corporate treasury trader at Mizuho Bank, said a central bank deputy governor's comments on Wednesday further pressured the currency. Market sentiment has changed and foreign investors now think the baht, Asia's top performing currency this year, may not rise much further given its strength is out of step with economic fundamentals, Mathee Supapongse said on Wednesday. The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against the dollar at 0524 GMT. CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR Change on the day at 0524 GMT Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move Japan yen 108.660 108.75 +0.08 Sing dlr 1.360 1.3606 +0.01 Taiwan dlr 30.488 30.500 +0.04 Korean won 1191.200 1190.2 -0.08 Baht 30.350 30.295 -0.18 Peso 50.760 50.79 +0.06 Rupiah 14030.000 14060 +0.21 Rupee 71.283 71.28 -0.00 Ringgit 4.161 4.168 +0.17 Yuan 7.048 7.0444 -0.05 Change so far in 2019 Currency Latest bid End 2018 Pct Move Japan yen 108.660 109.56 +0.83 Sing dlr 1.360 1.3627 +0.17 Taiwan dlr 30.488 30.733 +0.80 Korean won 1191.200 1115.70 -6.34 Baht 30.350 32.55 +7.25 Peso 50.760 52.47 +3.37 Rupiah 14030.000 14375 +2.46 Rupee 71.283 69.77 -2.12 Ringgit 4.161 4.1300 -0.75 Yuan 7.048 6.8730 -2.48 (Reporting by Devika Syamnath in Bengaluru)

EM ASIA FX-Asian currencies eke out gains as trade signals seesaw

05 Dec 2019

* S. Korean won breaks 7-day slump to lead gains * Peso may receive some near-term support as inflation quickens in Nov. - ING * China Nov. exports seen up slightly, data due on Sunday (Adds text, updates prices) By Devika Syamnath Dec 5 Most Asian currencies notched only small gains on Thursday as the run of conflicting headlines about U.S.-China trade talks dulled emerging market appetite for risky bets. U.S. President Donald Trump said talks with China were going "very well," having only warned a day earlier that a trade deal might not be reached until after the 2020 presidential election. "There's still underlying caution and a lack of clarity to reverse any trade with conviction," said Vishnu Varathan, a senior economist at Mizuho Bank. "(Investors) are biding their time until the middle of December when you get the best-case scenario of an interim deal or the can gets kicked down to next year." Trump has less than two weeks to make a call before a new round of U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods comes into effect, with his decision set to chart the course of a trade war that has dragged on for 17 months. South Korea's won tacked on 0.3% and was set to lead gains, having lost more than 1% over the previous seven straight sessions. The Philippine peso also strengthened 0.3%. The Southeast Asian economy's inflation quickened for the first time in six months in November, compounding expectations that the central bank would hold interest rates at its next meeting on Dec. 12. "The Peso may receive some near-term support as faster inflation means that a BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) rate cut is off the table for now," ING said in a note. China's yuan was slightly weaker after a boomerang move in the previous session when it fell to a 5-1/2-week low before recovering all of its intraday losses on Trump's upbeat comments. China's exports data, due on Sunday, is expected to have risen for the first time in four months in November, a Reuters poll showed, though the trade war-instigated slack in demand suggests that a sure-footed turnaround in shipments is some way off. Thailand markets were closed for a public holiday. The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against the dollar at 0602 GMT. CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR Change on the day at 0602 GMT Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move Japan yen 108.790 108.85 +0.06 Sing dlr 1.362 1.3630 +0.07 Taiwan dlr 30.483 30.508 +0.08 Korean won 1190.800 1194.3 +0.29 Peso 50.820 50.96 +0.28 Rupiah 14075.000 14100 +0.18 Rupee 71.500 71.53 +0.03 Ringgit 4.171 4.175 +0.10 Yuan 7.053 7.0508 -0.03 Change so far in 2019 Currency Latest bid End 2018 Pct Move Japan yen 108.790 109.56 +0.71 Sing dlr 1.362 1.3627 +0.05 Taiwan dlr 30.483 30.733 +0.82 Korean won 1190.800 1115.70 -6.31 Baht 30.295 32.55 +7.44 Peso 50.820 52.47 +3.25 Rupiah 14075.000 14375 +2.13 Rupee 71.500 69.77 -2.42 Ringgit 4.171 4.1300 -0.98 Yuan 7.053 6.8730 -2.55 (Reporting by Devika Syamnath in Bengaluru; Editing by Sam Holmes)

EM ASIA FX-Asian currencies fall on fears of trade war dragging on

04 Dec 2019

* Korean won extends losses to seventh straight session * Yuan, ringgit and rupee fall despite healthy economic prints * Yuan touches over 1-month low (Adds text, updates prices) By Devika Syamnath Dec 4 Most Asian currencies weakened on Wednesday, with the South Korean won falling the most, as comments from U.S. President Donald Trump dashed bets of a speedy resolution to Washington's drawn-out trade war with Beijing. Trump said a trade deal with China might have to wait until after the 2020 presidential election, knocking hopes that a "phase 1" deal would be signed by Dec. 15, when additional tariffs on Chinese goods are set to take effect. "Investors have become more desensitized to trade headlines of late but given the extent to which trade optimism was running towards the top end, the latest trade headlines are extremely bitter pills for the market to swallow," Stephen Innes, Asia Pacific market strategist at AxiTrader, said in a note. China, which stands to lose the most from a longer trade war, saw its currency weaken for a third session and touch a more than one-month low at one point in the session. Leading the declines in the region, the South Korean won fell 0.6% and was set for a seventh straight session of losses. The currency, which is already sensitive to trade headlines, has seen risk sentiment sour further after neighbor North Korea earlier this week accused the U.S. of trying to drag out denuclearisation talks. In contrast to the barrage of negative trade headlines, the day's busy economic roster showed China service data hitting a 7-month high, Malaysian exports drop slower than expected and India's dominant services sector rebounding to growth. "Economic green shoots are a budding theme to end 2019 and may kickstart 2020 on a positive tone," OCBC said in a note. However, the positive prints did little to stave off caution towards Asian currencies, with the Malaysian ringgit and the Indian rupee down 0.1%, each. THE PHILIPPINE PESO The Philippine peso was on firmer footing than its peers, slightly higher ahead of annual inflation data on Thursday. Inflation likely quickened for the first time in six months in November but the expected number will be below the central bank's comfort range for the year, a Reuters poll showed. The expected bounce led ING to posit in a note that the country's central bank would hold rates at its Dec. 12 meeting. "The peso may benefit from a rebound in inflation and the possible BSP pause as the dovish Governor closes shop for the year," ING said in the note. The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against the dollar at 0545 GMT. CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR Change on the day at 0545 GMT Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move Japan yen 108.600 108.62 +0.02 Sing dlr 1.364 1.3636 -0.06 Taiwan dlr 30.501 30.507 +0.02 Korean won 1194.700 1187.2 -0.63 Baht 30.280 30.271 -0.03 Peso 51.070 51.08 +0.02 Rupiah 14120.000 14100 -0.14 Rupee 71.730 71.67 -0.09 Ringgit 4.179 4.173 -0.14 Yuan 7.068 7.0610 -0.10 Change so far in 2019 Currency Latest bid End 2018 Pct Move Japan yen 108.600 109.56 +0.88 Sing dlr 1.364 1.3627 -0.12 Taiwan dlr 30.501 30.733 +0.76 Korean won 1194.700 1115.70 -6.61 Baht 30.280 32.55 +7.50 Peso 51.070 52.47 +2.74 Rupiah 14120.000 14375 +1.81 Rupee 71.730 69.77 -2.73 Ringgit 4.179 4.1300 -1.17 Yuan 7.068 6.8730 -2.76 (Reporting by Devika Syamnath in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

EM ASIA FX-Most flat after Trump sparks off fresh trade war concerns

03 Dec 2019

(Adds text, updates prices) By Devika Syamnath Dec 3 Most Asian currencies were unchanged on Tuesday, as gains against a weaker dollar were offset by concerns about the United States sparking off a trade war with Brazil and Argentina, amid an ongoing dispute with China. U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday said he would impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from Brazil and Argentina, taking the trade war to new pastures even as the United States looks to sign a trade deal with China. China's yuan weakened slightly from its previous close of 7.0409 despite a subdued dollar hurt by unexpected decline in U.S. construction spending. "The weaker DXY has not translated into broad gains for Asian currencies, considering the risk-off tone in the markets triggered by President Trump's latest tariff tantrum," Han Tan, market analyst at FXTM said in a note. Investors remain focussed on U.S.-China trade talks and "are expected to hold back from making large moves in the interim, unless signaled otherwise, amid hopes that a limited trade deal remains a likely outcome," the FXTM note added. Less than two weeks remain before President Trump has to decide whether to impose an additional 15% tariff on about $156 billion worth of Chinese products. Washington's latest tariff announcement against Brazil and Argentina has dampened prospects for the so-called "phase one" trade deal with Beijing, which is already on tenterhooks thanks to U.S. legislation backing protesters in Hong Kong. The South Korean won was set to be the worst regional performer for the day and declined 0.3%. Tuesday marks the sixth consecutive session of falls for the won, which is especially sensitive to trade headlines due to South Korea's dependence on electronic exports. Singapore manufacturing data, which is expected later in the day, dotted an otherwise light data calendar for the region. The Singapore dollar traded 0.1% higher. The Malaysian ringgit strengthened 0.2% ahead of trade data expected on Dec. 4. The country's exports likely fell for a third straight month in October, a Reuters poll showed, but trade surplus is expected to expand. The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against the dollar at 0602 GMT. CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR Change on the day at 0602 GMT Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move Japan yen 109.170 108.98 -0.17 Sing dlr 1.365 1.3657 +0.08 Taiwan dlr 30.495 30.509 +0.05 Korean won 1186.800 1183.1 -0.31 Baht 30.270 30.27 +0.00 Peso 51.050 51.04 -0.02 Rupiah 14120.000 14120 +0.00 Rupee 71.600 71.65 +0.07 Ringgit 4.172 4.178 +0.16 Yuan 7.043 7.0409 -0.02 Change so far in 2019 Currency Latest bid End 2018 Pct Move Japan yen 109.170 109.56 +0.36 Sing dlr 1.365 1.3627 -0.14 Taiwan dlr 30.495 30.733 +0.78 Korean won 1186.800 1115.70 -5.99 Baht 30.270 32.55 +7.53 Peso 51.050 52.47 +2.78 Rupiah 14120.000 14375 +1.81 Rupee 71.600 69.77 -2.56 Ringgit 4.172 4.1300 -0.99 Yuan 7.043 6.8730 -2.41 (Reporting by Devika Syamnath in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

Hong Kong protests push insurer AIA to worst quarterly new business growth

28 Oct 2019

Asia-focused insurer AIA Group Ltd posted its smallest ever quarterly growth in new business value, as anti-government protests in Hong Kong hit sales of insurance products to mainland Chinese visitors.

UPDATE 2-Hong Kong protests push insurer AIA to worst quarterly new business growth

28 Oct 2019

* HK business posts double-digit drop on fewer mainland visitors

Treasury Wine CEO who led 'extraordinary transformation' retires, shares tumble

21 Oct 2019

Australia's Treasury Wine Estates Ltd (TWE) on Monday said "transformative" Chief Executive Michael Clarke would retire in early fiscal 2021, a surprise move which sent shares of the world's biggest standalone winemaker down more than 12%.

UPDATE 3-Treasury Wine CEO who led 'extraordinary transformation' retires, shares tumble

21 Oct 2019

* For a graphic on TWE's profit growth - https://tmsnrt.rs/2qwa6Qb

Australian shares drop on global slowdown worries; NZ dips

18 Oct 2019

Oct 18 Australian shares dropped on Friday as a weaker U.S. dollar dented blue-chip healthcare firms that have offshore operations, while fears of a slide into recession continued to dog sentiment amid scepticism over the Brexit deal and Sino-U.S. talks.

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