Most Asian currencies rise on easing of some COVID curbs in China


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Most Asian emerging currencies rose on

Monday, with the Chinese yuan and Vietnam’s dong leading gains,

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as a softer U.S. dollar and signs of China easing its strict

zero-COVID strategy supported investors’ appetite for riskier


The yuan appreciated 1.4% against the dollar,

hitting its highest since Sept. 15 as the dollar index

fell 0.3% at 104.17. Stocks in Shanghai advanced more

than 1%.

Steps taken in some Chinese cities to ease coronavirus curbs

raised hopes of increased demand for commodities in Southeast

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Asia’s biggest trading partner.

“China remains a dominant driver, and the good news has been

rolling in – through the weekend we’ve heard more news with

Shanghai and Hangzhou easing restrictions, with PCR tests no

longer needed to visit certain public venues,” said Chris

Weston, head of research at broker Pepperstone.

Analysts at OCBC expect a changing U.S. Federal Reserve

policy and China reopening to result in a rebalancing of

portfolio flows to Asia, “especially when allocations in Asia

may have been lower than usual amid the sell-off seen in most

parts of 2022.”

The Vietnamese dong strengthened 1.9% and posted its

best session since September 2010 on flows from foreign

borrowings by Vietnam Technological And Commercial Joint Stock

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Bank and Masan Group, according to a market


South Korea’s won firmed 0.7%, while Singapore’s

dollar advanced 0.5% to hit its highest since February


Malaysia’s ringgit, which has lost 4.6% so far this

year, appreciated 0.5% to hit its highest level since May 6.

Since last week, the currency has drawn support from the

appointment of Anwar Ibrahim as prime minister.

Anwar, who will also serve as Malaysia’s finance minister,

announced new cabinet appointments on Friday. Markets now await

a revised 2023 budget before the year end.

“The unveiling of the new cabinet ‘relatively’ quickly

helped removed some political uncertainty,” analysts at Maybank

wrote in a note.

Elsewhere, the Philippines lowered its growth target for

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2023 to 6.0%-7.0%, from 6.5%-8.0% and revised its foreign

exchange rate assumptions for 2022-2024.

The peso depreciated 0.1%, while stocks in Manila

rose 0.5%.

Among stock markets, China’s benchmark index led

gains as it surged 1.6%. Equities in Kuala Lumpur and

Seoul declined 0.6% and 0.7%, respectively.

Markets in Thailand were closed on account of a public



** China extends bilateral currency swap agreement

with Macau for three years

** Indonesia says digital rupiah currency can be used

in metaverse

The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against

the dollar at 0434 GMT.

Asia stock indexes and currencies at

0434 GMT




Japan -0.07 -14.3 <.n2>

China EC>

India -0.07 -8.65 <.ns ei>

Indonesi +0.13 -7.50 <.jk a se>

Malaysia +0.46 -4.56 <.kl se>

Philippi -0.09 -8.54 <.ps nes i>

S.Korea 11>

Singapor +0.54 +0.33 <.st e i>

Taiwan +0.54 -9.03 <.tw ii>

Thailand – -3.90 <.se ti>

(Reporting by Upasana Singh in Bengaluru, additional reporting

by Tom Westbrook; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)



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