Asian FX slightly weaker on inflation, global growth worries



* Asian stocks struggle for direction

* Singapore's April core CPI up 3.3% year-on-year

* Bank Indonesia's policy meeting on Tuesday awaited

By Harish Sridharan

May 23 (Reuters) - Asian currencies came under pressure on Monday due to persistent concerns over inflation and global economic growth, though Singapore's dollar bucked the trend as the city-state released data showing the fastest rise in core inflation in a decade.

Thailand's baht THB=TH , India's rupee INR=IN and the Philippine peso PHP= weakened 0.1% each, while the Singapore dollar SGD= earlier strengthened as much as 0.4%, to hit a two-and-a-half week high against a broadly weak U.S. dollar.

The dollar traded heavily against major currencies, following its first weekly loss in nearly two months, as investors cut bets on further dollar gains from rising U.S. rates.

"Chatter of U.S. recession risks and hence less pressure for the U.S. Federal Reserve to tighten aggressively (have seen) rate hike bets and USD longs unwind," said Christopher Wong, senior FX strategist at Maybank.

Wong added that relative stabilisation of the yuan CNY=CFXS , a pullback in U.S. Treasury yields, China's unexpectedly large borrowing rate cut for mortgages on Friday and signs of Shanghai reopening have aided sentiment in Asia.

The yuan, which recorded its biggest weekly jump since October 2020 last week, was up 0.1%. China's rate cut was its second reduction this year as Beijing attempts to revive an ailing housing sector to prop up the economy.

Stocks in the region struggled for direction. Equities in Bangkok .SETI and Taipei .TWII were both up 0.5%, while those in Singapore .STI and the Philippines .PSI traded in the red.

Singapore's core inflation rate — the central bank's favoured price measure - rose to 3.3% in April on a year-on-year basis, the highest since February 2012, driven by higher food prices. A Reuters poll of economists had forecast a 3.4% increase.

Meanwhile, both the Indonesian rupiah IDR= and stocks in Jakarta .JKSE were marginally weaker ahead of Bank Indonesia's policy meeting on Tuesday.

Economists in a Reuters poll predicted the Indonesian central bank will wait a few more months to raise rates from a record low despite rising inflation and aggressive tightening by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Nearly one-third of respondents, eight of 27, said the first rate rise would be in June, and the remaining 17 said it would come at one of the monthly meetings between July and September.

HIGHLIGHTS

** Singapore dollar hits highest since May 5

** On Friday, Taiwan's export orders fell for the first time in 25 months in April

** South Korea's exports for the first 20 days of May jumped 24.1% year-on-year

Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0503 GMT COUNTRY

FX RIC

FX

FX

INDEX STOCK STOCKS

DAILY YTD %

S YTD %

%

DAILY

% Japan

JPY=

+0.32 -9.70 .N225 0.64 -6.53 China

CNY=CFXS

+0.10 -4.94 .SSEC -0.47 -13.96 India

INR=IN

-0.13 -4.27 .NSEI

0.32 -5.97 Indonesia

IDR=

-0.11 -2.84 .JKSE -1.10

3.95 Malaysia

MYR=

-0.05 -5.13 .KLSE

0.15 -1.03 Philippines PHP=

-0.11 -2.42 .PSI

-0.48 -5.73 S.Korea

KRW=KFTC

-0.14 -6.39 .KS11 -0.04 -11.40 Singapore

SGD=

+0.28 -1.97 .STI

-0.49

3.24 Taiwan

TWD=TP

-0.05 -6.67 .TWII

0.45 -10.99 Thailand

THB=TH

-0.15 -2.68 .SETI

0.50 -1.60



Graphic: World FX rates Link
Asian stock markets Link



Reporting by Harish Sridharan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sonali
Desai


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