Author of the article:
Most Asian currencies started the week
on a negative footing on Monday, with the South Korean won and
Thai baht leading losses as investors assessed the fallout from
an intensifying Russia-Ukraine conflict, while regional equities
The Malaysian ringgit and the Philippine peso
slipped about 0.2% each, with the peso continuing its decline
for a third session as the central bank last week hinted it may
not keep step with monetary tightening in the United
In regional equities, the Malaysian benchmark shed
up to 0.6%, while stocks in the Philippines, Singapore
, and Thailand advanced between 0.4% and 0.7%.
Chinese stocks gained up to half a percent in a
fourth consecutive winning session after the central bank kept
its benchmark rate for corporate and household lending
unchanged, as expected.
China’s yuan, one of the region’s most traded
currencies, was largely unchanged on Monday at 6.3624 per
dollar, after volatility last week saw it hit a three-month low
of 6.3880 amid surging COVID-19 cases.
Amid rising infections, slowing economic growth and investor
worries over China getting caught in the crosshairs of Western
sanctions due to its close ties with Russia, analysts widely see
the case for monetary stimulus building.
“The (Chinese) economy is losing momentum … there are also
growing headwinds from lockdowns in the wake of rising COVID-19
cases, which will hurt consumer activity and raise risks of
supply chain disruptions,” analysts at TD Securities said.
“We think this will be met with further monetary easing and
a small pick-up in credit growth, and look for a 10 basis points
cut in the loan prime rate (LPR) next month. We also expect a 50
basis points cut in the reserve requirement ratio very soon.”
China, the world’s manufacturing powerhouse and top consumer
of commodities, is Southeast Asia’s biggest trading partner and
materially influences the regional economies.
Elsewhere, the South Korean won weakened 0.5% to
mark its worst day in a week, while the Thai baht
depreciated 0.3%. The Indonesian rupiah and Singapore
dollar were mostly unchanged.
As the conflict in Ukraine intensifies, rising commodity
prices, inflationary pressures and exposure to imports from
Russia now pose a challenge to the nascent recovery in the
“Although the direct effects of the Russia-Ukraine conflict
and the magnitude of the negative spillover to growth are likely
to depend on how long the war lasts, slower global growth,
especially in Europe, will weigh on the region’s economies,”
analysts at Barclays said in a note.
** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields edge higher to 6.736%
** Trading in shares of China Evergrande, units halted –
** Philippines returns to offshore bond market with
at 0350 GMT
COUNTRY FX FX FX INDEX STOCKS STOCKS
RIC DAILY YTD DAILY YTD %
% % %
Japan -0.01 -3.44 <.n225>
Indonesia +0.03 -0.59 <.jkse>
Malaysia -0.15 -0.80 <.klse>
Philippines -0.10 -2.58 0.33 -1.29
Singapore -0.08 -0.50 0.16 6.80
(Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru; Editing by
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