Philippine peso on track for worst week in 9 yrs, Asian stocks gain
* Peso eyes worst week in 9 years
* Baht at a 5-yr intraday low
* Malaysia's May inflation exceeds forecast
By Savyata Mishra
June 24 (Reuters) - The Philippine peso fell for the eighth straight session on Friday as markets feared a modest rate hike by the country's central bank may not be enough to curb surging inflation, while other Asian currencies rose against a weaker U.S. dollar.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) stuck to a 25 basis point increase to its benchmark rate on Thursday for a second month in a row, fearing that more aggressive tightening could compromise growth.
"Concerns over gradual pace of BSP hikes, weaker budget balance, as well as policy uncertainty under the new president could be adding to PHP drags in the interim," Maybank analysts said in a note.
The peso PHP= was on track for its worst week since June 2013. It was down 2% during the week, and hovered at a more than 16-1/2-yr intraday low notched earlier in the week.
The Thai baht THB=TH was 0.1% weaker intraday, touching a more than five-year low, likely pressured by portfolio outflows, according to Maybank analysts.
Thailand's central bank had signalled a gradual hike in its benchmark interest rate amid a slow economic recovery and a weakening currency.
The Malaysian ringgit MYR= was unchanged even as data showed a higher-than-estimated acceleration in May inflation.
Indonesia's rupiah IDR= fell 0.1%, after Bank Indonesia held rates steady at a record low on Thursday, sticking to its dovish stance.
"BI’s (Bank Indonesia) future rate action would be purely data dependent, confident as it is about extremely limited prospect of runaway inflation surge. We continue to expect the first rate hike during 3Q22," Kunal Kundu, an economist with Societe Generale said.
Asian markets have seen a meaningful shift higher in rate hike expectations across the board in the recent months, with Thailand and Indonesia lagging their peers.
"With the exception of the People’s Bank of China, we expect all the other Asian central banks to tighten monetary policy by the second half of this year," a note from ANZ Bank said.
Other currencies broadly rose, supported by a weaker greenback, with the South Korean won KRW=KFTC leading gains with a 0.3% climb, followed by a 0.2% rise in the Singaporean dollar SGD= .
Meanwhile, recessionary fears intensified after gauges of factory activity in Japan, Britain, the euro zone and United States all softened in June.
Asian equities gained, tracking a solid jump in the Wall Street indexes overnight.
Seoul's benchmark index .KS11 rose 2.5%, with shares in Philippines .PSI , Taiwan .TWII , India .NSEI up between 0.8% and 1.3%.
Stocks in Jakarta .JKSE gained 0.6%, Thailand .SETI up 0.5%, with Singapore .STI and Malaysia .KLSE 0.4% higher. HIGHLIGHTS:
** Indonesia sees a fiscal deficit within a range of 4-4.5% of GDP due to stronger revenue performance, a finance ministry official said
** India's central bank is on course to bring down prices but the retail inflation rate is likely to remain above the top end of its mandated target band until December, Governor Shaktikanta Das said
** China's central bank on Friday injected 60 billion yuan worth of seven-day reverse repos into the banking system, as demand for cash for the end of the first half of the year started to pick up Asia stock indexes and
currencies at 0456 GMT
COUNTRY FX RIC
FX INDE STOCKS STOCK
DAILY YTD %
X DAILY S YTD
+0.14 -14.5 <.N2 1.11 -8.09
<CNY=CFX +0.07 -5.08 <.SS
+0.06 -5.01 <.NS
-0.07 -4.01 <.JK
0.62 6.99 ia
+0.00 -5.45 <.KL
0.40 -8.34 a
-0.60 -7.05 <.PS
1.38 -13.6 ines
7 S.Korea <KRW=KFT +0.26 -8.44 <.KS
9 Singapo SGD=
+0.15 -2.80 <.ST
0.27 -0.72 re
+0.12 -6.91 <.TW
7 Thailan THB=TH
-0.14 -6.08 <.SE
0.51 -5.55 d
Graphic: World FX rates Link
Asian stock markets Link
Reporting by Savyata Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim
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