TD – EMERGING MARKETS-Baht, peso plumb multi-month lows to lead Asian FX falls
By Harish Sridharan
June 21 (Reuters) – Thai baht plumbed a more than eight-month low on Monday, the Philippine peso dropped to 2-1/2-month troughs and stock markets across Asia fell as broad-based dollar strength took a toll across emerging markets.
The Thai Baht THB=TH weakened 0.6%, hitting its lowest since Oct. 1, as the bullish dollar technical bias remained intact, Reuters technical analyst Catherine Tan said. She said a break for the exchange rate above 31.60 could trigger more dollar buying.
Indonesian markets also face the double whammy of spiking coronavirus infections, with the country reporting its highest daily cases since Jan. 30 on Sunday and the most daily fatalities since early April.
Indonesia’s coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto said the country would tighten mobility restrictions in “red zones”, where infections had been rising more quickly, for two weeks starting Tuesday.
The rupiah IDR= weakened 0.4% to hit its lowest in seven weeks, extending losses for a sixth straight session.
“A firmer dollar, taken together with increased concerns over Indonesia’s economic recovery in the wake of rising COVID-19 cases, are likely to keep the rupiah under pressure over the short term,” said Mitul Kotecha, chief EM Asia and Europe strategist at TD Securities.
“Reduced risk appetite for Indonesian assets is evident in continued outflows from Indonesia’s stock market.”
The dollar hit a two-month high on Friday after the U.S. Federal Reserve surprised markets by signalling sooner-than-expected interest rate hikes, which Kotecha said implied “Asian FX will struggle to make headway over the weeks ahead”.
Asian equities fell, taking cues from Wall Street’s sharp decline on Friday, with stocks in Malaysia .KLSE, Singapore .STI and Thailand .SETI all sliding more than 1%. MKTS/GLOB
Taiwan stocks .TWII closed 1.5% lower to mark their worst session in over one month, as daily COVID-19 infections falling below 100 failed to cheer investors .
The country’s Ministry of Economic Affairs reported that the island’s export orders rose 34.5% year-on-year in May, but missed Reuters poll expectations of a 40.15% jump.
** Top loser on the Jakarta stock index .JKSE was Nusantara Pelabuhan Handal Tbk PT PORT.JK, down 7%
** Top loser on FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kl Index .KLSE was Sime Darby Plantation Bhd SIPL.KL, down 4.77%
** The biggest laggards in the NSE index were UPL Ltd UPLL.NS, Wipro Ltd WIPR.NS and Hindalco Industries Ltd HALC.NS.
Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0753 GMT
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(Reporting by Harish Sridharan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sujata Rao and Rashmi Aich)
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