Band Savyata Mishra
April 18 (Reuters) – Most Asian currencies and stocks were subdued on Monday as investors placed cautious bets after a long holiday weekend, with a stronger dollar on the threat of rate policy aggressive in the US, which further hurt sentiment.
malaysian bell MYR=taiwanese dollar TWD=TP and South Korea won KRW=KFTC fell about 0.3% each on the back of the greenback’s rise on Thursday, as more hawkish comments from Federal Reserve officials bolstered expectations of a quicker U.S. policy tightening.
“Asian markets may be cautious to start the week as investors assimilate the 25 basis point decline in the PBOC (People’s Bank of China) RRR,” OCBC analysts said in a note.
Late Friday, the PBOC announced it would reduce the amount of cash banks must hold as reserves for the first time this year, freeing up about 530 billion yuan ($83.25 billion) of long-term cash to cushion a potentially sharp slowdown in economic growth. .
With no market clues coming out of Europe due to the Easter holiday, investors will take a look at key economic data out of China on Monday.
Data showed China’s economy grew at a faster than expected pace in the first quarter, growing 4.8 percent year-on-year. But the risk of a sharp downturn over the next few months has increased as sweeping COVID-19 restrictions and the war in Ukraine take their toll.
Chinese stocks .SSEC was still down 0.8% as market participants dismissed the PBOC’s move as falling short of their expectations, and perhaps not enough to reverse the economic slowdown. .SS
“Although China has eased monetary policy via the latest RRR cut, it will also not be a panacea to solve the supply bottleneck,” an OCBC note said.
Meanwhile, the Singapore dollar CAD= and Philippine peso PHP= traded down 0.2%.
Indian rupee linked to energy RNI=IN fell 0.3%, its lowest levels since March 22, likely under pressure from rising oil prices as concerns grew over tight global supply, the worsening crisis in Ukraine raising the prospect of tougher Western sanctions against the top exporter, Russia. OR
Similarly, the Thai baht THB=TH and the Indonesian rupiah RDI= fell slightly by 0.1%.
Among the stock markets, Singapore .STI fell 0.7%, touching its lowest levels since March 17, while Malaysia shares .KLSE fell 0.3% for a third consecutive session.
Jakarta Stocks .JKSE were an outlier in the region, climbing 0.6%, driven by higher energy prices and ahead of a central bank monetary policy meeting on Tuesday where an interest rate hike is expected as the risk of inflation increases.
** Malaysia’s benchmark 10-year yield hits a 4-year high
** Sri Lanka will start talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on a loan program on Monday, even as it seeks help from other countries, including neighboring India and China.
Asian Stock Indices and Currencies at 0408 GMT
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Graphic: world exchange rates https://tmsnrt.rs/2RBWI5E
(Reporting by Savyata Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)
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