Philippine peso set for worst week in 9 yrs, Asian stocks bounce
* Baht at a 5-yr intraday low
* Malaysia's May inflation above forecasts
By Savyata Mishra
June 24 (Reuters) - The Philippine peso was set on Friday for its worst weekly show since June 2013 as markets feared that a modest rate hike by the country's central bank may not be enough to curb surging inflation, while other Asian currencies strengthened.
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.
"With inflation expected to have a declining trajectory through into 2023, BSP may continue to gradually hike rates without sacrificing a fully entrenched economic growth recovery," Ruben Carlo O. Asuncion, chief economist at the Union Bank of the Philippines, said.
The peso PHP= was down for an eighth straight session. It was down 2% during the week, and hovered at a more than 16-1/2-year intraday low notched earlier in the week.
The Thai baht THB=TH weakened 0.1%, 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.
Indonesia's rupiah IDR= fell 0.1% during the session, slipping for the third week in row.
Bank Indonesia kept policy rates unchanged at a record low on Thursday, sticking to its dovish stance, despite a depreciating rupiah.
"We now see the September policy meeting as the most likely time that BI will consider hiking the policy rate," BofA analysts said in a note, and reiterated that the central bank should start normalizing policy in a pre-emptive manner.
Asian markets have seen a meaningful shift in rate hike expectations across the board in the recent months, with Thailand and Indonesia lagging their peers.
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, led by Seoul benchmark's .KS11 2.2% jump, tracking a solid jump in the Wall Street indexes overnight.
Malaysian shares .KLSE lost for a fifth straight week, down 1.2%, dragged by lower palm futures, which were on course for their biggest weekly drop since mid-March.
Stocks in the Philippines .PSI jumped 2.5% but were still down 1.8% for the week and set for a third weekly loss. HIGHLIGHTS:
** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields are down 4.3 basis points (bps) at 7.389%
** Singapore's 10-year benchmark yield is down 3.30 bps at 2.961%
** 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 0726 GMT
COUNTRY FX RIC
FX INDE STOCKS STOCK
DAILY YTD %
X DAILY S YTD
+0.31 -14.4 <.N2 1.23 -7.99
<CNY=CFX +0.05 -5.10 <.SS
-0.03 -5.10 <.NS
-0.10 -4.04 <.JK
0.80 7.18 ia
-0.02 -5.47 <.KL
0.61 -8.15 a
-0.64 -7.09 <.PS
2.51 -12.7 ines
1 S.Korea <KRW=KFT +0.28 -8.43 <.KS
2 Singapo SGD=
+0.06 -2.88 <.ST
0.52 -0.48 re
+0.18 -6.86 <.TW
0 Thailan THB=TH
-0.07 -6.01 <.SE
0.47 -5.59 d
Graphic: World FX rates Link
Asian stock markets Link
Reporting by Savyata Mishra in Bengaluru
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