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Shreya Mariam Job

EM ASIA FX-Most Asian units slip as virus spread pushes investors to safer assets

21 Feb 2020

* S.Korean won set to snap two weekly gains * Malaysian ringgit set for biggest weekly slump in over 3 yrs * Indian financial markets closed for a holiday (Adds text, updates prices) By Shreya Mariam Job Feb 21 Most Asian currencies slipped on Friday, with the South Korean won leading declines, as a sharp rise in new coronavirus cases outside mainland China sent investors scurrying to safer assets such as the U.S. dollar. The South Korean won fell 0.6% after the country reported 52 new cases of the fast-spreading virus and data showed exports to China in the first 20 days of February slumped 3.7%. "Continued rise in contagion could warrant a re-assessment of the macro fallout on Korea in terms of both supply chain disruption and inbound tourism," Maybank said in a note. The won has lost 2% this week, the most among its peers, and was on track to snap two weekly gains as the outbreak upends global growth and supply chains. In Taiwan, one of the economies most exposed to the outbreak, export orders in January fell by their steepest in nearly seven years, data showed on Thursday. The Taiwan dollar weakened 0.3% and was set to lose more than 1% for the week. The rising economic toll of the virus and its rapid spread outside China prompted investors to seek shelter in the dollar , which hovered near a three-year peak hit overnight. The Malaysian ringgit slipped 1.4% for the week, its biggest weekly drop since November 2016. The Thai baht lost 0.5% and was on track to post a weekly drop of 1.4%. Southeast Asia's second-largest economy is among those hit hardest by the outbreak, prompting the country's central bank to lower growth forecasts earlier this week. Meanwhile, the Indonesian rupiah slipped 0.3%. The country's central bank lowered its key policy interest rate on Thursday, in a bid to cushion the blow from the epidemic, which also pushed Bank Indonesia to cut this year's economic growth outlook. Financial markets in India were closed for a holiday. CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR Change on the day at 0555 GMT Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move Japan yen 111.940 112.11 +0.15 Sing dlr 1.400 1.4006 +0.03 Taiwan dlr 30.358 30.254 -0.34 Korean won 1206.200 1198.7 -0.62 Baht 31.630 31.47 -0.51 Peso 50.770 50.76 -0.02 Rupiah 13745.000 13700 -0.33 Ringgit 4.193 4.183 -0.31 Yuan 7.033 7.0230 -0.14 Change so far in 2020 Currency Latest bid End 2019 Pct Move Japan yen 111.940 108.61 -2.97 Sing dlr 1.400 1.3444 -3.99 Taiwan dlr 30.358 30.106 -0.83 Korean won 1206.200 1156.40 -4.13 Baht 31.630 29.91 -5.44 Peso 50.770 50.65 -0.24 Rupiah 13745.000 13880 +0.98 Rupee 71.650 71.38 -0.38 Ringgit 4.193 4.0890 -2.55 Yuan 7.033 6.9632 -0.99 (Reporting by Shreya Mariam Job in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni)

EM ASIA FX-Asian currencies weaken as virus worries shake investor confidence

20 Feb 2020

* Singapore dollar hits weakest level since May 2017 * S. Korean won hits weakest level since Oct * Thai Baht at weakest in over eight months (Adds text, updates prices) By Shreya Mariam Job Feb 20 Asian currencies weakened against a stronger dollar on Thursday as fears of the economic impact from the coronavirus outbreak prompted a wider sell-off in the region. The epidemic, which has disrupted businesses and global supply chains, has raised worries over fallout on regional economies with trade and travel ties with China. "South Korea and Singapore are two countries that have been quite affected by the coronavirus," said Junvum Kim, sales trader at Saxo Capital Markets. "The coronavirus cases have risen considerably higher compared to other countries, apart from China, and that is having quite a negative impact on those two countries." The South Korean won fell 1% to its lowest level since Oct. 4, after the government reported 31 new cases, bringing the total number of people infected in the country to 82. The Singapore dollar fell about 1% to its lowest level in nearly three years. The city-state had reported a total of about 77 cases of coronavirus as of Tuesday. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group downgraded Singapore's GDP growth forecast for 2020 to 0.4%, from 1.5% previously, citing a significant impact from the virus in the first quarter. Broad-based gains in the dollar following a steep slide in the Japanese yen also led investors away from riskier local currencies. The Thai Baht fell as much as 0.8% to touch its weakest level in over eight months. The Chinese yuan slipped 0.3% after the central bank cut the benchmark lending rate, as widely expected, to support an economy jolted by the virus outbreak. The Indonesian rupiah declined 0.6% ahead of Bank Indonesia's decision on interest rates. A slim majority of analysts polled by Reuters expect the central bank to resume its easing cycle at its policy meeting this week to cushion the economic impact from the coronavirus outbreak. "While BI (Bank Indonesia) preference is for a stronger IDR (Indonesian rupiah), headwinds to growth have intensified and this will likely take precedence," a Mizuho note said. CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR Change on the day at 0618 GMT Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move Japan yen 111.440 111.35 -0.08 Sing dlr 1.401 1.3943 -0.47 Taiwan dlr 30.220 30.152 -0.23 Korean won 1198.800 1189.3 -0.79 Baht 31.370 31.16 -0.67 Peso 50.650 50.61 -0.08 Rupiah 13760.000 13680 -0.58 Rupee 71.615 71.52 -0.13 Ringgit 4.180 4.164 -0.38 Yuan 7.014 6.9977 -0.24 Change so far in 2020 Currency Latest bid End 2019 Pct Move Japan yen 111.440 108.61 -2.54 Sing dlr 1.401 1.3444 -4.03 Taiwan dlr 30.220 30.106 -0.38 Korean won 1198.800 1156.40 -3.54 Baht 31.370 29.91 -4.65 Peso 50.650 50.65 +0.00 Rupiah 13760.000 13880 +0.87 Rupee 71.615 71.38 -0.33 Ringgit 4.180 4.0890 -2.18 Yuan 7.014 6.9632 -0.73 (Reporting by Shreya Mariam Job in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)

EM ASIA FX-Most Asian currencies slip against stronger dollar; weaker yuan fix weighs

19 Feb 2020

* Bank Indonesia rate decision due on Thursday * PBOC sets yuan mid-point at its weakest since Dec. 25 * Indonesian rupiah hits weakest level in over a week (Adds text, updates prices) By Shreya Mariam Job Feb 19 Most Asian currencies fell against a stronger dollar on Wednesday, with the Indonesian rupiah declining the most, after China's central bank set the midpoint of the yuan weaker than a key threshold for the first time in nearly two months. The People's Bank of China set the midpoint rate at 7.0012 per dollar, 186 pips or 0.27% weaker than the previous fix of 6.9826. The Chinese yuan slipped 0.1%. "The weakness in Asian currencies probably stem from the weaker yuan fixing today, which was fixed weaker than 7, which suggest that Chinese authorities are comfortable with further weakening in the currency," said Khoon Goh, head of Asia research at ANZ. Worries of the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreaks continued to dampen investor sentiment as the death toll from the epidemic passed 2,000 in the mainland, although a fall in the number of new cases offered a slight reprieve. Meanwhile, Asian units also faced pressure from a stronger greenback, as the dollar, against a basket of currencies, hovered near a four-month high. "With the euro, the biggest component in the dollar index, offering little resistance, coupled with the risk-aversion stemming from the coronavirus outbreak, the U.S. dollar has scant reason to come off these elevated levels," said Han Tan, a market analyst at FXTM, in a note. The Taiwan dollar <TWD=TP and the South Korean won also declined about 0.1% each. Against the broader trend, the Philippine peso continued to trade fairly stronger as the impact of the virus outbreak on its economy is expected to be relatively less severe. The Thai baht saw marginal gains after comments on Tuesday that the Thai government's support measures and the passage of a delayed budget bill will help ease the economic blow from the coronavirus. INDONESIAN RUPIAH The Indonesian rupiah declined 0.4% to its weakest level in over a week. "Rupiah has been performing quite strongly recently," Goh said, so the weakness today is not surprising. The rupiah had strengthened about 1.7% over the month of January allowing investors to book profits. The Bank Indonesia is likely to resume its easing cycle at its policy meeting on Thursday, according to a Reuters poll, to provide a cushion for the expected economic impact from the virus outbreak. CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR Change on the day at 0551 GMT Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move Japan yen 110.050 109.86 -0.17 Sing dlr 1.391 1.3924 +0.09 Taiwan dlr 30.142 30.125 -0.06 Korean won 1191.000 1189.5 -0.13 Baht 31.170 31.2 +0.10 Peso 50.560 50.63 +0.14 Rupiah 13710.000 13660 -0.36 Ringgit 4.158 4.154 -0.10 Yuan 7.007 6.9980 -0.12 Change so far in 2020 Currency Latest bid End 2019 Pct Move Japan yen 110.050 108.61 -1.31 Sing dlr 1.391 1.3444 -3.36 Taiwan dlr 30.142 30.106 -0.12 Korean won 1191.000 1156.40 -2.91 Baht 31.170 29.91 -4.04 Peso 50.560 50.65 +0.18 Rupiah 13710.000 13880 +1.24 Rupee 71.520 71.38 -0.20 Ringgit 4.158 4.0890 -1.66 Yuan 7.007 6.9632 -0.62 (Reporting by Shreya Mariam Job in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)

EM ASIA FX-Asian currencies slip on concerns over rising virus impact to businesses

18 Feb 2020

* Bank Indonesia likely to cut rates on Thursday * S. Korean won slips to weakest level in over a week * Coronavirus impact on industries to show in Feb - China regulator (Adds text, updates prices) By Shreya Mariam Job Feb 18 Asian currencies slipped on Tuesday as increasing financial fallout of the virus outbreak in China and chances of central banks opting for monetary easing as a measure to shore up regional economies weighed on investor sentiment. With death toll climbing to nearly 1,900 in China, disruptions and delays in operations in the mainland owing to the epidemic and its impact remained a concern for businesses. "Caution from Apple that it doesn't expect to meet revenue guidance for 1Q due to supply disruptions could also potentially nudge markets to re-evaluate the macro impact of Covid-19," a Maybank note said. Apple Inc became one of the biggest corporate casualties of the epidemic after it warned on Monday it was unlikely to meet its quarterly sales guidance. Global financial markets felt the sting as investors took a more cautious stance in trade. The Chinese yuan slipped 0.2% as fears of the macro-impact of the virus offset the steps taken by the country's central bank to boost the economy. Further dampening sentiment, a China regulator said the epidemic will have a "major" impact on industries in the mainland in February. Meanwhile, the Indonesian rupiah weakened 0.2%, weighed down by growing expectations of a rate cut by the Bank Indonesia meeting on Thursday. A slim majority of analysts polled by Reuters expect Indonesia's central bank to resume its easing cycle to cushion any economic impact from the coronavirus. The Thai baht also slipped 0.2%. Pressure is building on the central bank of Southeast Asia's second largest economy to cut rates to support an economy which posted its slowest pace of growth in five years for 2019. The Bank of Thailand will next review monetary policy and provide updated economic forecasts on March 25. SOUTH KOREAN WON The South Korean won declined up to 0.5% to its weakest level in over a week and was the worst performer among Asian units. The country's president Moon Jae-in said the economy is in an emergency situation and needs to stimulate domestic demand and that the government should take every possible measure. "The COVID-19 outbreak could disrupt tech supply chains and even derail the nascent turnaround in the global semiconductor industry," an ANZ note warned, adding that tech-reliant economies like Taiwan and South Korea are likely to be the worst hit. CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR Change on the day at 0524 GMT Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move Japan yen 109.710 109.88 +0.15 Sing dlr 1.391 1.3888 -0.13 Taiwan dlr 30.058 30.056 -0.01 Korean won 1188.500 1183.9 -0.39 Baht 31.230 31.16 -0.22 Peso 50.585 50.58 -0.01 Rupiah 13670.000 13650 -0.15 Rupee 71.393 71.30 -0.13 Ringgit 4.148 4.144 -0.10 Yuan 6.995 6.9813 -0.20 Change so far in 2020 Currency Latest bid End 2019 Pct Move Japan yen 109.710 108.61 -1.00 Sing dlr 1.391 1.3444 -3.32 Taiwan dlr 30.058 30.106 +0.16 Korean won 1188.500 1156.40 -2.70 Baht 31.230 29.91 -4.23 Peso 50.585 50.65 +0.13 Rupiah 13670.000 13880 +1.54 Rupee 71.393 71.38 -0.02 Ringgit 4.148 4.0890 -1.42 Yuan 6.995 6.9632 -0.46 (Reporting by Shreya Mariam Job in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

EM ASIA FX-Most Asian units eke out small gains as China moves to support economy

17 Feb 2020

* China cuts interest rate on medium-term lending * Singapore cuts 2020 growth outlook * Thai GDP 2019 grows at slowest pace in five years (Adds text, updates prices) By Shreya Mariam Job Feb 17 Most Asian currencies eked out small gains against the dollar on Monday as China's central bank cut a key interest rate to support an economy jolted by the coronavirus outbreak, helping counter a string of weak economic data from regional economies. In a bid to soften the impact from the epidemic that has killed more than 1,700 people, the People's Bank of China on Tuesday lowered the interest rate on its medium-term lending. The move fuelled expectations of a reduction in the country's benchmark loan prime rate, which will be announced on Thursday. "Markets are caught between relief rallies positioning off declining infections rates accentuated by strong stimulus on one hand; and on the other hand, hemmed in by underlying caution given the uncertainty" surrounding the epidemic, Vishnu Varathan, senior economist at Mizuho Bank said in a note. The interest rate cut, along with other support measures outlined by the finance minister on Sunday, pushed the Chinese yuan 0.2% higher, putting it on course to snap three sessions of declines. The improvement in sentiment also buoyed most other Asian units, with the Taiwan dollar firming 0.2%. The Thai baht was little changed data showed that Southeast Asia's second-largest economy grew at its weakest pace in five years in 2019. However, the Indonesian rupiah and the Indian rupee ticked lower, weighed down by weak trade data. Indonesia's trade gap widened sharply in January with the economy posting a trade deficit of $870 million in the first month of 2020, compared with an estimate of a $270 million deficit, according to a Reuters poll. Meanwhile, India's trade deficit rose slightly to $15.17 billion in January, the trade ministry said on Friday. SINGAPORE BUDGET The Singapore dollar ticked up 0.1%, shrugging off a cut to the city-state's 2020 growth and exports outlook on the expected economic impact from the coronavirus outbreak that poses a recession risk. Singapore is expected to roll out a hefty package of measures to cushion the blow from the epidemic when it announces its budget on Tuesday. Analysts said that the impact from the epidemic has overtaken the U.S.-China trade war as the predominant risk facing the Singapore economy. "Policymakers are also cognizant of the downside growth risks, so a strong budget response and/or monetary policy response at the April MPS (Monetary Policy Statement) may help mitigate and cushion some of the downside risks from here," OCBC said in a note. CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR Change on the day at 0544 GMT Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move Japan yen 109.820 109.74 -0.07 Sing dlr 1.390 1.3913 +0.12 Taiwan dlr 30.002 30.051 +0.16 Korean won 1182.300 1183 +0.06 Baht 31.160 31.15 -0.03 Peso 50.522 50.54 +0.04 Rupiah 13680.000 13670 -0.07 Rupee 71.430 71.40 -0.04 Ringgit 4.138 4.1405 +0.06 Yuan 6.976 6.9878 +0.17 Change so far in 2020 Currency Latest bid End 2019 Pct Move Japan yen 109.820 108.61 -1.10 Sing dlr 1.390 1.3444 -3.25 Taiwan dlr 30.002 30.106 +0.35 Korean won 1182.300 1156.40 -2.19 Baht 31.160 29.91 -4.01 Peso 50.522 50.65 +0.25 Rupiah 13680.000 13880 +1.46 Rupee 71.430 71.38 -0.07 Ringgit 4.138 4.0890 -1.18 Yuan 6.976 6.9632 -0.18 (Reporting by Shreya Mariam Job in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni)

Australia, NZ shares rise on hopes of more China stimulus

05 Feb 2020

Feb 5 Australian shares tracked broader Asia higher on Wednesday as hopes grew that China would take more steps to limit the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak that has killed nearly 500 people.

Australian shares edge higher ahead of rate decision; NZ flat

04 Feb 2020

Feb 4 Australian shares inched up on Tuesday, buoyed by financials ahead of the central bank's rate decision, although persisting worries over the economic impact from the coronavirus capped gains.

Australian shares fall to 3-week lows on coronavirus worries; NZ down

03 Feb 2020

Feb 3 Australian shares fell to three-week lows on Monday as mounting worries about the global economic impact of the new coronavirus outbreak in China curbed risk appetite and spurred a wider sell-off in the domestic market.

Australia shares tick higher on financials, tech

29 Jan 2020

Jan 29 Australian shares tracked broader Asia to trade higher on Wednesday, with financial and technology stocks leading the gains, although fears about the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak in China weighed on investor sentiment.

Australia shares gain amid China virus fears

24 Jan 2020

* Material stocks hit 1-month low; IAG slumps on hailstorm claims

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