EMERGING MARKETS-Currencies, stocks mixed after China, U.S. data; Thai baht hits 2-wk high

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
EMERGING MARKETS-Currencies, stocks mixed after China, U.S. data; Thai baht hits 2-wk high
Credit: © Reuters.

* Thai baht firms as much as 0.8%

* Singapore dollar set to add half a percent over the week

* China posts record GDP growth in Q1

By Sameer Manekar

April 16 (Reuters) - Emerging Asian currencies and share markets were largely mixed on Friday as investors took stock of key economic data from the United States and China, while the Thai baht stood out with gains as it resumed trade after a three-day break.

In Russia, government bonds recouped some losses as investors considered news of U.S. sanctions targeting the country's sovereign debt. The rouble RUB= opened 0.1% weaker against the dollar after tumbling 2% on Thursday. Thai baht THB=TH firmed nearly a percent and hit a two-week high as the dollar dipped. The currency, however, could face pressure in the near-term on the back of a record rise in new COVID-19 cases and virus curbs in Thailand. if the U.S. dollar remains sideways or slightly weaker, Thai baht could weaken further due to worsening COVID-19 situation which is likely to lead to more stringent lockdown measures," said Poon Panichpibool, markets strategist at Krung Thai Bank.

"In this scenario, I expect some selling pressures on Thai risky assets such as stocks and some hospitality-related REITs, which could lead to some fund outflows."

Many regional stock markets were unable to join a global rally, as upbeat U.S. retail sales and manufacturing data as well as record first-quarter economic growth in China were offset by worries over rising infections. in the Philippines .PSI , Malaysia .KLSE and Indonesia .JKSE slipped between 0.2%-0.8%.

In Singapore, the local dollar SGD= was off 0.2% but remained on track to firm about half a percent for the week. Stocks .STI rose 0.4% to a one-week high after data showed the city-state's exports expanded in March. Treasury yields continued to retreat as markets focussed on the Federal Reserve's insistence of maintaining monetary support for an extended period.

"The lower UST nominal yields render some Asian local-currency government bonds more attractive, which shall extend the stabilization recently seen in the IndoGB and Malaysian government securities markets," analysts at OCBC Bank said in a note to clients.

Indonesia's 10-year benchmark yields ID10YT=RR are at 6.538% after losing more than 36 basis points earlier in April, while Malaysia's 10-year yields MY10YT=RR edged up from a six-week low hit earlier in the month.

HIGHLIGHTS:

** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields fall 5.8 basis points to 6.511%

** Consumer and real estate firms top losers in the Philippine bourse

Asia stock indexes and

currencies at 0445 GMT

COUNTRY FX RIC

FX

FX INDE STOCK STOCK

DAILY YTD

X

S S YTD

%

%

DAILY

%

%

Japan

JPY=

-0.08 -5.1 <.N2 0.12 8.13

4 25>

China

S>

1 EC>

India

INR=IN

+0.29 -2.2 <.NS 0.59 4.90

0 EI>

Indones IDR=

+0.07 -3.7 <.JK -0.06 1.62 ia

7 SE>

Malaysi MYR=

-0.05 -2.5 <.KL -0.35 -1.51 a

5 SE>

Philipp PHP=

+0.23 -0.7 <.PS -0.68 -9.02 ines

4 I>

S.Korea

C>

2 11>

Singapo SGD=

-0.07 -1.0 <.ST 0.26 12.29 re

8 I>

Taiwan

TWD=TP

+0.12 +0.4 <.TW 0.02 15.93

7 II>

Thailan THB=TH

+0.70 -4.1 <.SE 0.31 6.67 d

9 TI>

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