Rupiah firm after c.bank holds rates, stocks pare losses
* Chinese yuan hits highest since June
* AC Energy's renewable deals boost Philippine index
* Malaysian markets closed for a holiday
By Anushka Trivedi
Oct 19 (Reuters) - Indonesia's rupiah remained firm on Tuesday after the country's central bank held interest rates steady as expected, while other Asian currencies basked in the dollar's decline that was prompted by weak U.S. data and improving risk sentiment.
Leading gains, the South Korean won KRW=KFTC surged 0.8% and the Thai baht THB=TH rose 0.6%, while the Philippine peso PHP= , the Singapore dollar SGD= , and Taiwan's dollar TWD=TP also strengthened.
The dollar index USD= , which measures the greenback against six peers, fell to a three-week low after data showed U.S. factory output in September slowed, while signs that China's property woes could be contained boosted risk assets.
The rupiah IDR= was up 0.3% at 14,070 per dollar as Bank Indonesia (BI) kept its benchmark rate at a record low of 3.50% to support economic recovery and maintained its growth outlook.
BI's policies to prioritise macroeconomic stability through a harsh COVID-19 wave have worked well so far, with rupiah being the best performer in the third-quarter among Asian currencies.
"The government's focus on tax reforms and re-opening the economy to tourism has also boosted policy credibility and brightened recovery prospects," Mizuho analysts said in a note.
"Substitution of Australian coal for Indonesian coal by China is adding to rupiah's allure at the margin," they added, as the country is a net commodity exporter.
Jakarta shares .JKSE pared losses to trade flat following the decision, after having retreated from hitting a record high. Stocks had been gaining for six straight sessions.
The mood was also upbeat because of a tech-fuelled rally on Wall Street overnight, with a rebound in Chinese markets anchoring gains in Asia a day after weak data stoked investor concerns about the world's second-largest economy.
Philippine stocks .PSI jumped as much as 1%, bolstered by AC Energy Corp ACEN.PS rallying 10% on approving a number of deals that would see the power generator stop using thermal coal by 2025.
Shanghai stocks .SSEC pushed higher, while the Chinese yuan CNY=CFXS climbed 0.5% to 6.40, blowing past a level it last hit in mid-June.
Markets were still watching out for any announcement from debt-laden developer China Evergrande Group 3333.HK as it approached the end of a 30-day grace period for a missed coupon payment that had been due on Sept. 23.
Financial markets in Malaysia were shut for a holiday. HIGHLIGHTS
** Indonesian 3-year benchmark yields are up 1.5 basis points at 4.623%
** Singapore's 10-year benchmark yield is down 1.40 basis points at 1.712%
** Singapore shares .STI up 0.6%, top gainers include: DBS Group Holdings Ltd DBSM.SI up 2.3% and Hongkong Land Holdings Ltd HKLD.SI , up 1.6% Asia stock indexes and currencies at
FX DAILY % FX YTD %
INDEX STOCKS DAILY % STOCKS YTD % Japan
Graphic: World FX rates Link
Asian stock markets Link
Emerging Asia currencies in Q3 Indonesian rupiah outperforms
peers in Q3 Link
Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru; editing by
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