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EMERGING MARKETS-Peso, baht lead Asian FX declines, Indian rupee gains ahead of U.S. jobs data

EMERGING MARKETS-Peso, baht lead Asian FX declines, Indian rupee gains ahead of U.S. jobs data

reuters.com · 09/02/2021 03:52
EMERGING MARKETS-Peso, baht lead Asian FX declines, Indian rupee gains ahead of U.S. jobs data

Indian rupee hovers near three-month high

South Korean won slips from a three-week peak

Thai baht slides 0.4%, stocks flat

By Sameer Manekar

- Asian currencies were largely mixed on Thursday, with the Philippine peso and the Thai baht leading declines as rising coronavirus cases in the region weighed on sentiment, while the Indian rupee hovered near a three-month high.

Investors now await the U.S. August non-farm payrolls data due Friday, 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/

Among regional equities, South Korean stocks .KS11 lost nearly 1% and shares in Malaysia .KLSE and Indonesia .JKSE shed about 0.3% each, while India's Nifty 50 .NSEI and the Philippine bourse .PSI advanced more than 0.5%. nL1N2Q32VA

The Philippine peso PHP= weakened for a second straight day, making a rocky start to September after adding 0.7% in August, as the country crossed 2 million COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, with a fifth of those recorded last month. nL1N2Q30GL

"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."

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

The Thai baht THB=TH depreciated 0.5% against the U.S. dollar in its biggest drop in nearly a month, as the country started lifting movement curbs even as the threat of rising COVID-19 cases persists.

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

The Indian rupee INR=IN traded at 72.9925 per dollar as at 0630 GMT, lingering near a June 11 peak despite the country registering its highest number of new infections in two months on Thursday. nL1N2Q408S

South Korea's won KRW=KFTC snapped a four-day rally to hit a nearly three-week high, after data showed August consumer inflation stayed at a nine-year peak. 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.


HIGHLIGHTS:

** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields rise 5.7 basis points to 6.113%

** India's Mahindra and Mahindra flags production hit due to chip shortage - nL4N2Q414T

** Singapore Exchange to issue easier rules for SPAC listings - sources - nL1N2Q4051


Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0658 GMT




COUNTRY

FX RIC

FX DAILY %

FX YTD %

INDEX

STOCKS DAILY %

STOCKS YTD %

Japan

JPY=

-0.05

-6.19

.N225

0.33

4.0

China

CNY=CFXS

-0.01

+1.04

.SSEC

0.76

3.49

India

INR=IN

+0.15

+0.13

.NSEI

0.56

22.81

Indonesia

IDR=

+0.00

-1.68

.JKSE

-0.30

1.56

Malaysia

MYR=

-0.13

-3.32

.KLSE

-0.18

-2.65

Philippines

PHP=

-0.09

-3.85

.PSI

0.72

-4.27

S.Korea

KRW=KFTC

-0.37

-6.48

.KS11

-0.97

10.52

Singapore

SGD=

-0.01

-1.76

.STI

-0.03

8.54

Taiwan

TWD=TP

+0.08

+2.75

.TWII

-0.88

17.56

Thailand

THB=TH

-0.36

-7.67

.SETI

0.41

13.23


(Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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