Published on 9/05/2017 1:14:47 PM | Source: Reuters

Asian currencies edge down as Macron relief rally fades

Posted in Top Stories| #Currency News #Asia

By Patturaja Murugaboopathy

Asian currencies edged down against the dollar on Tuesday, as the greenback regained ground lost to the euro and other currencies following a relief rally tied to the election of centrist French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron.

The Indian rupee was the biggest loser in the region, shedding more than quarter of a percent against the dollar. Foreigners have invested more than $9 billion of inflows into Indian bonds and equities so far this year. However, some analysts say investment might slow in coming days with 70 percent of the debt limit for foreigners already used.

"The net portfolio flow situation in Asia is perceived to be supportive of the Korean won, Taiwan dollar, and Philippine peso," OCBC said in a note.

"On the other hand, we continue to detect waning support for the Thai baht, Indonesian rupiah and Indian rupee within this framework."

The Taiwan dollar fell nearly a quarter of a percent following a sharp decline in Taiwan stocks on the day. Earlier in the session, the broader index surpassed the 10,000 point mark to hit a two-year high.

The dollar also tracked a rise in U.S. Treasury yields, which rose on expectation of increased supply ahead the sale of $62 billion in bonds this week.

South Korean markets were closed for Tuesday's presidential election, however, the offshore NDF markets showed the won falling in line with the regional peers.

Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indian markets will be closed for market holiday on Wednesday.


The Philippine peso edged down 0.15 percent to 49.935 per dollar following the weak equities.

On Monday, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte named central bank deputy governor Nestor Espenilla the new governor, which was seen as a positive for markets.

"We think markets will be pleased that the president chose someone clearly qualified, and who has been a career central bank official with the BSP," Credit Suisse said in a note.

"This move will likely ensure policy continuity, and as such reduce market uncertainty."

On Tuesday, Espenilla said markets should expect a lot of continuity in terms of monetary policy and reforms when he takes over in July.

The central bank is expected to hold the policy rate on Thursday, according to Reuters poll, although the majority of those polled expect a rate hike in the second half of the year.


South Korean markets were closed for Tuesday's presidential election, in which liberal candidate Moon Jae-in is widely expected to win the presidency, following months of leadership vacuum after former President Park Geun-hye was removed on charges of bribery and abuse of power.

"His caution against the installation of THAAD may anger the U.S. but appease China leading to a removal of travel ban to South Korea," said Saktiandi Supaat, Head of FX Research at Maybank in Singapore.

"Geopolitical tensions may ease in this scenario since China is playing a greater role in regional security."

On Tuesday, the offshore non-deliverable forwards showed a slight fall in won against the dollar, in line with the regional currencies' performance.

(Reporting By Patturaja Murugaboopathy in Bengaluru,; Editing by Sam Holmes)