Asian currencies decline, stocks subdued as U.S. job data awatied
S. Korean won, Malaysian ringgit lead decliners
Stocks across emerging Asia mixed
Eyes on U.S. non-farm payrolls data
By Upasana Singh
Feb 3 (Reuters) -Most Asian currencies weakened against a firmer U.S. dollar on Friday while regional stock markets were mixed, as investors awaited the key U.S. non-farm payrolls report for further clues to Federal Reserve policy.
The South Korean won and the Malaysian ringgit led losses in forex markets. The won KRW=KFTC fell 0.7% and the ringgit MYR= depreciated 0.6%. Indonesia's rupiah IDR=, the Singapore dollar SGD= and China's yuan CNY=CFXS eased 0.1% each.
Meanwhile, the Philippine peso PHP= reversed early losses to gain 0.2%. India's rupee INR=IN and Thailand's baht THB=TH rose 0.1% each.
The European Central bank (ECB) and the Bank of England (BoE) hiked rates by 50 basis points (bps) each on Thursday, with the BoE saying the tide was turning against inflation and the ECB indicating at least one more hike was on the horizon before re-evaluating its rate hike path.
The decisions followed the U.S. Federal Reserve's 25 bps raise on Wednesday, after which Chair Jerome Powell said that the "disinflationary" process in the world's largest economy has started.
Investors' focus now turns towards the non-farm payrolls report later in the day to gauge the strength of the labour market. Any signs of easing in the strong jobs market could heighten hopes of an imminent pause to the Fed's monetary tightening streak.
"In the very near term, the U.S. labour market data would be the key," said Poon Panichpibool, a markets strategist at Krung Thai Bank.
"The theme for now could be 'good data = return of hawkish Fed = bad for the market' i.e. very upbeat NFP (non-farm payrolls) or strong rises in wage growth (more than +0.3% m/m) could hurt overall market sentiment."
The dollar index =USD, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, rose 0.1% to 101.89 as of 0407 GMT, up from Wednesday's nine-month low of 100.80. FRX/
Meanwhile, a Reuters poll found Indonesia's economic growth likely slowed in the fourth quarter as declining commodity and energy prices hit exports, and a widely expected global recession could accelerate the slowdown this year.
Official data for the fourth quarter gross domestic product is due on Feb. 6.
Markets are also eyeing the deepening Adani rout in India. Market losses of the conglomerate swelled above $100 billion on Thursday on the back of a U.S. short-seller's reports.
Among regional stock markets, equities in Jakarta .JKSE advanced 0.8% to hit a more than one-month high. South Korea's benchmark index .KS11 added 0.5%, while stocks in Singapore .STI rose 0.2%.
Equities in Manila .PSI and Bangkok .SETI inched 0.1% lower.
** China's services activity in January expanded for the first time in five months as spending and travel got a boost from the lifting of stringent COVID-19 curbs, a private sector survey showed
** India's National Stock Exchange puts trades in some Adani firms under additional watch
** South Korea's exports and investment would be weak at least through the first half of the year and the government would provide maximum support to ease the situation, according to the country's finance minister
The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against the dollar at 0344 GMT.
FX DAILY %
FX YTD %
STOCKS DAILY %
STOCKS YTD %
Reporting by Upasana Singh in Bengaluru
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