EMERGING MARKETS-Asian currencies benefit from weaker dollar after Fed

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
EMERGING MARKETS-Asian currencies benefit from weaker dollar after Fed
Credit: © Reuters.

* Graphic: World FX rates https://tmsnrt.rs/2RBWI5E

* Asian stock markets: https://tmsnrt.rs/2zpUAr4

* Weaker dollar pushed Asian currencies higher

* Thai stocks hit three weak high, baht firms

* Philippine stocks suffer after restrictions extended (Adds Japan performance in table)

By Harish Sridharan

April 29 (Reuters) - Asian currencies strengthened on Thursday, benefiting from a slide in the U.S dollar to a near nine-week low after the U.S Federal Reserve maintained a dovish outlook and quashed speculation on early bond tapering.

U.S Treasury yields fell overnight, pulling the dollar along with it, after Fed Chair Jerome Powell said "it is not time yet" to begin discussing any change in policy, implying a continuation of the central bank's accommodative policy settings. currencies are seeing relief gains on the back of the Fed's sanguine outlook on inflation, which implies that U.S. monetary policy is likely to remain accommodative and supportive of inflows into Asia," said Chang Wei-Liang, Macro Strategist (FX and Credit) at DBS Bank.

"That said, the Fed's dovish stance will be increasingly challenged by improving U.S. data, with a robust U.S. recovery taking shape now. As such, Asian currency gains could remain restrained on expectations of an eventual Fed taper later this year," he added.

Though major indexes in Wall Street closed lower overnight, stocks in Asia responded positively to Fed's dovish stance, with most markets trading in positive territory.

Indian shares .NSEI jumped as much as 1.2% to mark a more than six-week high, as investors turn their attention to a slew of blue-chip earnings.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage on in the nation, but many countries have now pledged to help with critical supplies and vaccines.

Equities in South Korea .KS11 gained 0.2%, boosted by strong quarterly earnings. The won KRW=KFTC strengthened 0.45% and was at its strongest in more than two months. .KS

Indonesian stocks .JKSE saw gains, while Taiwan .TWII gained as much as 0.8% to notch yet another record high.

Markets in Malaysia were closed on account of a local holiday.

Stocks in Bangkok .SETI extended gains from the previous day and scaled a more than three-week peak, even as the country continues to face the brunt of a third wave of coronavirus infections. The baht THB=TH gained 0.35%.

Thailand's industry ministry said on Wednesday that the country's manufacturing production index rose in March for the first time in 23 months, benefiting from improved global demand and a low base effect high. some analysts were sceptical about the performance of Thai markets.

"A huge cloud of uncertainty over the COVID-19 situation especially in the run-up to this long holiday could keep a lid on the market's upside though yesterday's rebound helps brighten the short-term market outlook" analysts at Philip Securities wrote in a note.

Stocks in Manila .PSI suffered after President Rodrigo Duterte extended restrictions on movement and gathering in the capital and nearby provinces for two more weeks, as the Philippines battles one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in the region. In the Philippines, top index loser was Bloomberry Resorts Corp BLOOM.PS , down 2.84%

** Autocorp Holding PCL ACG.BK was up 12.8% and among the top gainers on the Thailand's SETI .SETI

** The biggest gainers in the NSE index were Tata Steel Ltd TISC.NS gaining 1.69% and Bajaj Finance Ltd BJFN.NS , up 1.4%

Asia stock indexes and currencies at

0359 GMT

COUNTRY

FX RIC

FX

FX

INDEX STOCKS STOCKS

DAILY YTD %

DAILY YTD %

%

%

Japan

JPY=

-0.03 -4.95 .N225

0.21

5.87 China

CNY=CFXS

+0.11 +0.87 .SSEC

0.17 -0.29 India

INR=IN

+0.00 -1.73 .NSEI

0.77

7.13 Indonesia

IDR=

+0.21 -2.94 .JKSE

0.52

0.44 Philippines PHP=

+0.07 -0.82 .PSI

-0.73 -10.06 S.Korea

KRW=KFTC

+0.45 -1.97 .KS11

0.15 10.88 Singapore

SGD=

+0.02 -0.29 .STI

0.06 13.28 Taiwan

TWD=TP

+0.22 +2.17 .TWII

0.22 19.51 Thailand

THB=TH

+0.35 -4.10 .SETI

0.78

9.64

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