Asian FX lifted by China’s reopening plans, Thai baht on sixth-day rally
The Philippine peso and the Thai baht
rose firmly among emerging Asian currencies on Friday, buoyed by
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
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
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
Still, the dollar’s vice grip on FX markets will loosen a
bit this year, according to a Reuters poll, where analysts
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
COUNTRY FX RIC FX FX INDE STOCK STOCK
DAILY YTD % X S S YTD
% DAILY %
Japan -0.29 -2.00 <.n2>
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>
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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