Asian FX lifted by China’s reopening plans, Thai baht on sixth-day rally


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The Philippine peso and the Thai baht

rose firmly among emerging Asian currencies on Friday, buoyed by

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China’s latest reopening plans, as investors awaited U.S. jobs

data, after upbeat private payrolls fed market fears of more

interest rate hikes.

The peso appreciated 0.3% against the dollar after

the country’s central bank pledged further action to tackle

inflation, which hit a 14-year high in December.

Aiding the currency’s moves was a “decline in global crude

oil prices during the week that could ease inflationary

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pressures and help narrow the country’s trade deficit/net

imports,” said Michael L. Ricafort, a chief economist at Rizal

Commercial Banking Corp.

The Thai baht was set to clock the best weekly gain

among its peers, up nearly 2%. It rose for the sixth straight

session as hopes of increased tourism from China as it gradually

reopens its borders.

China’s rapid unwinding of stringent COVID rules that have

battered its economic growth have fanned optimism of a recovery

in 2023, and kept Asian markets buoyant during the week.

The yuan rose 0.4%.

The dollar held near an almost one-month high on

Friday as market bets on further rate hikes strengthened after

data on Thursday pointed to a still-tight labor market.

“Coming ahead of the noteworthy non-farm payrolls report, we

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see scope for some near-term dollar strength as a result,” MUFG

Bank analyst Jeff Ng said.

U.S. jobs data later in the day could provide clues on how

aggressive the Federal Reserve will be in tightening policy this


The Indonesian rupiah was down 0.1%, the Malaysian

ringgit fell 0.2% while the Japanese yen was down


The yen has weakened over 2% against the dollar during the

week. Earlier in the week, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida

reiterated his resolve to maintain ultra-loose monetary policy

to sustainably achieve 2% inflation.

The Singaporean dollar rose 0.2%, South Korean won

gained 0.6%,

Still, the dollar’s vice grip on FX markets will loosen a

bit this year, according to a Reuters poll, where analysts

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expect most currencies to post marginal gains against the

greenback over the coming 12 months.

Among Asian equities, Philippine stocks fell nearly

1%, while those in Malaysia dipped 0.4%.

Shares in Indonesia, which tumbled 2% in the last

session on news of China’s partial easing of its Australian coal

imports ban, were up 0.4%.

Thai stocks gained 0.8%, while Seoul stocks

climbed 1.2% on chipmakers boost.


** China’s deeply troubled property sector is set to see

home sales fall for the second straight year in 2023, but the

pace of declines will ease thanks to state support measures and

the lifting of the government’s strict anti-COVID policies

** Indonesia’s foreign exchange reserves rose to $137.2

billion at the end of December, the highest in nine months, the

central bank said on Friday

Asia stock indexes and

currencies at 0840 GMT





Japan -0.29 -2.00 <.n2>

China EC>

India +0.10 +0.30 <.ns ei>

Indones -0.13 -0.38 <.jk ia se>

Malaysi -0.18 +0.16 <.kl a se>

Philipp +0.43 +0.16 <.ps ines i>

S.Korea 11>

Singapo +0.14 -0.26 <.st re i>

Taiwan -0.05 -0.06 <.tw ii>

Thailan +0.25 +1.93 <.se d ti>

(Reporting by Savyata Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim




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