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EMERGING MARKETS-Philippine peso softens; Asian FX mixed ahead of US jobs data

reuters.com · 09/02/2021 00:05
EMERGING MARKETS-Philippine peso softens; Asian FX mixed ahead of US jobs data

Peso depreciates for a second day

South Korean won slips from a near three-week high

Thai baht slides 0.4%, stocks flat

By Sameer Manekar

- The Philippine peso led declines among mixed Asian currencies on Thursday as growth concerns due to rising coronavirus cases weighed on sentiment, while traders awaited U.S. jobs data for clues on the Federal Reserve's tapering timeline.

The South Korean won KRW=KFTC snapped a four-day winning streak and slipped from a near three-week high, while the Thai baht THB=TH declined 0.4% as the country began to lift movement curbs even as COVID-19 cases in the region rose fast.

In South Korea, data showed August consumer inflation stayed at a nine-year peak, unchanged from the prior month and surpassing a Reuters poll forecast. That pressured the won and equities in Seoul .KS11, which declined 0.4% and 1% respectively. nL1N2Q32VA .KS

"South Korea's elevated consumer price index reading for August justifies to some extent Bank of Korea's decision to begin the process of monetary accommodation withdrawal," analysts at Mizuho Bank said.

The Philippine peso PHP= weakened as much as half a percent on top of the 0.5% lost in the previous session as the country passed the 2 million mark in COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, with a fifth of those recorded in August alone. nL1N2Q30GL

Data on Wednesday showed factory activity in the Philippines contracted in August for the first time since May, in-line with some other regional economies as well as top trading partner China as a resurgence in new infections disrupted supply chains. nL4N2Q30DT

"Note that regional peers Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia are also seeing tentative easing off or stabilization in daily Covid-19 case counts, while the contagion trajectory remains on an uptrend in Philippines," analysts at Maybank said in a note.

"With COVID-19 risks intact, recovery in the Philippine peso could be choppy, particularly against regional peers."

However, shares in Manila .PSI traded the other way, advancing more than a percent on the back of consumer and real estate firms, rebounding from a 1% loss logged in the previous session.

Investors now await U.S. August non-farm payrolls data due tomorrow which could give more clarity on the U.S. Federal Reserve's timeline on tapering of asset purchases, with a weaker jobs number likely adding further pressure on the U.S. dollar. USD/

Equities in the region were largely subdued, with the Malaysian bourse .KLSE and Indonesian stocks .JKSE falling marginally, while the Thai shares .SETI added about 0.3% before paring gains to trade flat as at 0328 GMT.

Indonesia and Thailand, two of the biggest economies in Southeast Asia, have begun to lift COVID-19 curbs after seeing cases fall while health experts say a resurgence in new infections is likely due to low vaccination rates. nL4N2Q31OB



HIGHLIGHTS:

** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields rise 5.3 basis points to 6.109%

** Indonesia c.bank issues new banking rules on mandatory MSME lending - nL4N2Q40PS

** U.S. manufacturing activity picks up unexpectedly in August - nL1N2Q30WG


Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0312 GMT





COUNTRY

FX RIC

FX DAILY %

FX YTD %

INDEX

STOCKS DAILY %

STOCKS YTD %

Japan

JPY=

+0.03

-6.11

.N225

0.14

3.83

China

CNY=CFXS

-0.03

+1.02

.SSEC

0.40

3.12

India

INR=IN

+0.00

-0.03

.NSEI

0.00

22.13

Indonesia

IDR=

+0.00

-1.68

.JKSE

-0.17

1.70

Malaysia

MYR=

-0.08

-3.27

.KLSE

-0.07

-2.55

Philippines

PHP=

-0.21

-3.96

.PSI

1.17

-3.85

S.Korea

KRW=KFTC

-0.28

-6.40

.KS11

-1.03

10.46

Singapore

SGD=

-0.07

-1.81

.STI

-0.09

8.49

Taiwan

TWD=TP

+0.13

+2.81

.TWII

-0.40

18.14

Thailand

THB=TH

-0.30

-7.62

.SETI

0.16

12.95


Philippines pesohttps://tmsnrt.rs/3gVa0Zz

(Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim Coghill)

((Sameer.Manekar@thomsonreuters.com; +918061823447;))