Most emerging Asian currencies were
trading in green on Tuesday against a relatively weaker U.S.
dollar, coming off from an extended Christmas holiday, as risk
sentiment improved after China eased COVID-19 quarantine
The South Korean won gained the most, rising
about 0.7% to hit its highest since June 10.
China, Asia’s largest economy, said it will stop requiring
inbound travelers to go into quarantine from Jan. 8 in addition
to downgrading the seriousness of COVID-19 as it has become less
virulent, leading to hopes of economic growth picking up faster.
Beijing has borne the brunt of harsh coronavirus curbs since
the onset of the pandemic in 2020, which has battered economic
activity and global supply chains due to frequent lockdowns.
Both the Chinese yuan and benchmark share price
index firmed 0.1% and 0.8%.
Other Asian units such as the Singapore dollar, Thai
baht Malaysian ringgit also gained 0.1% each.
The Singapore dollar is the only Asian currency to have
logged positive growth on a year-to-date basis.
“We have seen a bit of firming up of Asian currencies, due
to the reopening in China,” said FX strategist Moh Siong Sim at
the Bank of Singapore. “We are getting better clarity on the
endpoint in terms of the reopening and I think we’re moving in
the right direction in the medium term.”
Meanwhile, investor sentiment was also aided by a
softer-than-expected reading of the Personal Consumption
Expenditures index in the United States on Friday, prompting
expectations that the U.S. central bank will start dialing down
its aggressive policy interest rate hike path.
However, some caution still prevailed as analysts said there
was more work to do to bring inflation down due to a resilient
At 0354 GMT, the dollar index, which measures the
strength of the greenback against six major currencies, was at
Among Asian stocks, Indonesian equities rose the
most, gaining 1%, while others such as Taiwan, Thailand
and the Philippines firmed between 0.2% and 0.7%.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
was up 0.5%.
U.S. markets were closed on Monday on account of Christmas.
** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields fall to 6.909%
** China revises 2021 GDP growth to 8.4% from 8.1% –
** Top gainers in Singapore’s benchmark include Mapletree
Logistics Trust, up 1.9%, and SATS, up 1%
Asia stock indexes and currencies at
COUNTRY FX RIC FX FX YTD INDEX STOCKS STOCKS
DAILY % % DAILY YTD %
Japan -0.04 -13.42 <.n225> ! !
India -0.08 -10.13 <.nsei>
Indonesi -0.16 -8.97 <.jkse a>
Malaysia +0.09 -5.75 <.klse>
Philippi -0.40 -7.96 0.34 -7.85
Singapor +0.17 +0.28 0.44 4.75
Taiwan +0.06 -9.78 <.twii>
Thailand +0.07 -3.65 <.seti>
(Reporting by Archishma Iyer in Bengaluru; Editing by