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Most Asian currencies hold firm against dollar, ringgit declines

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Most Asian currencies recovered

marginally on Tuesday, with the South Korean won and Singapore

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dollar leading gains, as the U.S. dollar pared some of its

overnight gains.

The Malaysian ringgit declined sharply as political

uncertainty dampened sentiment.

The U.S. dollar, which rallied in the previous

session on mounting worries over China’s COVID situation, moved

broadly lower ahead of a COVID-19 press briefing in China later

in the day that is spurring hopes of a potential easing in the

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country’s strict pandemic restrictions.

In Asia, the South Korean won recouped losses of

the previous day to be 1% higher at 0403 GMT, with the Singapore

dollar and Thailand’s baht adding 0.4% each.

Thailand is awaiting an update on its policy meeting due on

Wednesday, when the central bank is expected to raise interest

rates by a modest quarter-point for a third straight time, a

Reuters poll of economists found.

The Malaysian ringgit, which returned to trading

after an extended weekend, weakened 0.6%, snapping a three-day

winning streak, while the country’s stocks gave up 0.6%

as investors watched political developments.

Since mid-last week, when Malaysia got a new leader, the

ringgit has appreciated 1.5%, but it is down more than 7% so far

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this year.

Across the region, stock indexes trading mixed. Shares in

Singapore, South Korea and Thailand

advanced between 0.3% and 1.0%. But in Indonesia,

Malaysia and Philippines shares lost between 0.1%

and 1%.

Markets globally are pricing in comments from the Fed

officials who flagged a need for continued policy tightening to

gain control of inflation, with no clarity on how far the

central bank will need to boost short-term borrowing costs.

“The Fed speakers are very clear that in the next FOMC

meeting in December, we will see a deceleration in the pace of

rate hikes to 50 basis points,” said Alvin Tan, head of FX

strategy at RBC Capital Markets. He added that markets were

anticipating slight cuts in interest rates in the second half of

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2023.

This week, investors will keep a close watch on three U.S.

statistics releases: November consumer confidence data, due

later on Tuesday; the second estimate for third-quarter gross

domestic product, due on Wednesday; and non-farm payrolls for

this month, due on Friday.

HIGHLIGHTS:

** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields rise 1.5 basis points

to 6.982%

** Singapore’s stock index snaps four-day losing

streak

** No sign of new protests in Beijing, Shanghai on Monday

Asia stock indexes and currencies

at 0403 GMT

COUNTRY FX RIC FX FX INDEX STOCKS STOCKS

DAILY % YTD % DAILY YTD %

%

Japan +0.21 -17.0 -0.58 -2.75

0

China 9

India +0.06 -8.93 0.19 7.16

Indonesi -0.06 -9.41 -0.08 6.54

a

Malaysia -0.62 -7.53 -0.53 -3.83

Philippi +0.07 -9.82 -0.95 -7.08

nes

S.Korea 4

Singapor +0.36 -1.83 0.86 4.62

e

Taiwan +0.17 -10.6 0.59 -19.63

1

Thailand +0.44 -6.19 0.46 -2.01

(Reporting by Roushni Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Bradley

Perrett)

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