Philippine peso eases ahead of likely rate hike; Fed minutes awaited


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Asian currencies held steady on Wednesday

as investors awaited the U.S. Federal Reserve’s minutes from its

recent meeting to get a sense of its stance on rates, while the

Philippine peso slipped ahead of the central bank’s policy

meeting.

South Korea’s won was the top loser in the

region, depreciating as much as 0.2%, while the Philippine peso

shed 0.16%.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is expected to follow its

July surprise rate hike with a half-point rise on Thursday and

another quarter-point hike next month to catch up with its peers

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in containing soaring inflation, a Reuters poll showed.

Analysts at ING, DBS, OCBC and Mizuho Bank expect a 50 bp

hike to its key overnight borrowing rate to contain inflation

which is hovering near four-year highs.

BSP Governor Felipe Medalla said in a forum on Wednesday the

central bank was “ready to take the necessary policy actions” to

combat inflation, and added that current policy settings remain

supportive of economic growth.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback

against six major peers, slipped marginally in Asia trading

hours ahead of the Fed minutes and U.S. retail sales for July.

“Should the Minutes indicate a greater shift towards a

data-dependent approach with more concerns of recession risks,

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markets may perceive the committee to be less hawkish and U.S.

dollar could ease further,” analysts at Maybank said in a note.

Meanwhile, data from Singapore showed non-oil domestic

exports grew more-than-expected in July, but the pace of

expansion was slower than last month’s. The Singapore dollar

remained flat, while stocks advanced 0.3%.

The Thai baht fell marginally, but had trimmed

losses from earlier in the week on expectations that the economy

would continue to grow in the second half of the year as tourism

picks up.

Among regional stock markets, Thailand, Malaysia

, and the Philippines advanced between 0.3% and

0.5%, while South Korea declined 0.6%.

Markets in Indonesia were closed on account

of a public holiday.

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HIGHLIGHTS:

** India 10-year benchmark yields fall 7.6 basis points to

7.213%

** Indonesia president proposes $206 bln budget for 2023

** Japan trade gap widens in July as imports surge

Asia stock

indexes and

currencies at

0357 GMT

COUNTRY FX FX FX INDEX STOCKS STOCKS

RIC DAILY % YTD % DAILY % YTD %

Japan +0.07 -14.20 0.90 1.17

China +0.12 -6.28 0.28 -9.69

India +0.42 -6.29 0.24 2.96

Indonesia – -3.49 – 8.39

Malaysia 0.00 -6.72 0.33 -0.89

Philippines -0.04 -8.65 0.42 -3.41

S.Korea -0.21 -9.32 -0.62 -15.44

Singapore -0.06 -2.19 0.33 4.51

Taiwan -0.01 -7.74 0.07 -15.30

Thailand -0.13 -5.72 0.46 -1.22

(Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru; Editing by

Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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