EMERGING MARKETS-Cautious Asian FX anchored by strong yuan ahead of U.S. election

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
EMERGING MARKETS-Cautious Asian FX anchored by strong yuan ahead of U.S. election
Credit: © Reuters.

* Graphic: World FX rates http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh

* Graphic: Foreign flows into Asian stocks https://tmsnrt.rs/3lKhL5I

* China's recovery shielding Asian FX from virus woes -analyst

* Yuan 's 0.5% gain keeps most Asian FX afloat

* Focus on Malaysia cenbank meet, 2021 budget next week

* Indonesia, India shut on local holidays

By Rashmi Ashok

Oct 30 (Reuters) - Strong gains in the Chinese yuan supported most Asian currencies on Friday, helping them escape a broader risk-off mood that sent regional equities lower as uncertainty ramped up ahead of the U.S. presidential election.

Worries over the outcome of Tuesday's election has remained to the fore, given the stark difference between Democratic candidate Joe Biden and President Donald Trump's views on foreign policy and trade, particularly towards Asia.

The Chinese yuan CNY=CFXS jumped 0.5% against the dollar, which helped boost the closely tied Singapore dollar SGD= by 0.2% and the South Korean won KRW=KFTC 0.4%.

While cases are surging elsewhere, the COVID-19 situation in Asia remains largely under control, with China's swift economic recovery driving the resilience of the yuan and other Asian currencies, said Sim Moh Siong, FX strategist at Bank of Singapore.

"The second factor is the U.S. elections. If Biden wins, and polls are indicating he's in the lead, it could lead to a less aggressive trade policy, further anchoring the yuan," he added.

"For Asia, overall, the risk environment is going to be cautious, but there's no panic."

Reuters earlier reported Biden would immediately consult with America's main allies before deciding on the future of U.S. tariffs on China, which markets received positively. currencies in Asia, primarily the yuan, the won and the Taiwan dollar TWD=TP are set to clock firm gains in October, up nearly 1% to 3.6% so far for the month.

Despite being shunned in recent weeks due to political ructions and massive protests, the Thai baht THB=TH is also on track for a 1.6% monthly gain.

Stock markets were subdued after Wall Street's sell-off, as cases continued to surge in the United States. Expectations of further lockdowns across Europe, following France and Germany's moves earlier this week, also dented the mood. stocks .PSI bucked the regional trend to add nearly 1%, after a sharp 2% decline the previous session.

In the week ahead, Malaysia's central bank will meet on Tuesday to decide on monetary policy, followed by the government's 2021 budget presentation on Friday.

The latter is seen as a key test to gauge the support the prime minister holds in wake of recent political tensions, with fears prevalent that the budget bill might not get through parliament given the slim coalition majority his government holds.

Markets in Indonesia and India remained shut for local holidays.

HIGHLIGHTS

** In the Philippines, top index gainers are Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc AEV.PS up 5.7% and JG Summit Holdings Inc JGS.PS up 3.07%

** Top losers on FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kl Index .KLSE include Axiata Group Bhd AXIA.KL down 2.96% and Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd HLCB.KL down 2.31%

** Malaysia's 10-year benchmark yield was down 0.2 basis points at 2.63%​​ while the 3-year benchmark yield was up 0.5 basis points at 1.76%​​

Asia stock indexes and

currencies at 0454 GMT

COUNTRY FX RIC

FX

FX

INDEX STOCK STOCK

DAILY YTD %

S S YTD

%

DAILY

%

%

Japan

JPY=

+0.26 +4.09 .N225 -0.75 -2.11 China

.SSEC -0.10 7.19

S>

Malaysi MYR=

+0.00 -1.56 .KLSE -0.82 -6.66 a

Philipp PHP=

-0.01 +4.68 .PSI

1.08 -19.1 ines

7 S.Korea .KS11 -1.21 4.59

C>

Singapo SGD=

+0.18 -1.47 .STI

-0.23 -24.1 re

4 Taiwan

TWD=TP +0.04 +4.17 .TWII -0.33 5.20 Thailan THB=TH +0.13 -4.13 .SETI -0.19 -24.0 d

8

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